Friday, October 16, 2009

Grilled Salmon with Chinese 5 Spice Rub and Jalapeno Peach Jelly Glaze

Finally, we are just about out of edible food in my refrigerator. If you have been reading my blog for the last few days, you know that I AM GOING TO NEW ORLEANS (have I mentioned that???). I have been under orders from she- who- will- not- be -crossed (my wife) to use up whatever leftovers I have in the fridge before I start cooking again. Finally, last night I gave her the choice of a bowl of gruel or some Salmon with tweaks...

First, it was not a hollow threat... I printed up a recipe card ...

  • 2 teaspoons of flour

  • 1 teaspoon of salt

    Boil one cup water. Separately,
    drip water on flour and salt until it makes a paste.
    Add the paste to the boiling water.
    Stir to a semi-fluid consistency.
    Strain to eliminate film. Serve warm.

    "...they contracted with the water-works to lay on an
    unlimited supply of water, and with a
    corn factory to supply periodically small amounts of oatmeal,
    and issued three meals of thin gruel a day,
    with an onion twice a week, and half a roll on Sundays"

    Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

  • Faced with this choice, Bingo Bango, Bongo... fast as you can say, "Bob's your Uncle", I got permission to grill!!!

    OK, to be fair, it is not top quality Salmon. Notice the "product of China" label in the price sticker. I am all for eating and shopping local products. But, with the exception of 6 days a year, it is hard to find fresh Kansas wild salmon (those dates, Feb 30-31, April 31, June 31, Sept. 31, and November 31... on those dates, Kansas is up to it's gills in locally fished wild salmon). These little packages come frozen (a sure sign of quality), and if you are patient, you can find them cheap ($2.99 a pound from my underpriced grocery store). I am a sucker for sales, and I have 4 or 5 packages of this in my freezer. If I were doing a throwdown with Bobby Flay, I would have hunted for better. But for the Mrs. and me, on a Thursday night, I can do wonders with this...

    Here's what I did...

    Chinese Salmon gets Chinese 5 spice Rub. Long time readers of this blog remember this post, HOW TO MAKE RUBS - Steven Raichlen recipes. You can get there by clicking HERE. Of all the rubs I made that day (9), this is by far my favorite and an eye opener. No salt (some days, I think about health issues), and incredibly flavorful. No real heat at all, but the spices combine perfect. I have tried this rub on Chicken (loved it), and pork (loved it). Now was the time to see what it does for fish! A couple of tips... When you are using a rub, it is best to put 1 heaping tablespoons of rub per pound of meat (rounded up, in this case, two) into a separate bowl. That way, you do not contaminate your remaining rub with raw fish cooties.

    Next tip is that it is not called sprinkle, it is called a rub. Rub it in. use your hands, get dirty and have fun.

    Next, I was going to use a jelly glaze. The sweet combined with the rub makes a terrific combination of flavors. Any type of jelly or marmalade can work (try an orange marmalade sometime). I happen to have been gifted an amazing - Jalapeno Peach jelly from the good folks at Fischer & Wieser Gourmet specialty foods. They make amazing products for you or to use as gifts... Click HERE to go to their website. Anyway, same as the rub, a couple tablespoons, rubbed into the meat, and it is ready to go. It probably could have been more simple, but I don't know how.

    And here she is ready for the grill. I did let it sit and marinate for about 30 minutes; just long enough for the meat to get to room temperature prior to grilling.

    Grilled at indirect heat (I used my gas grill, which has removable diffusers I can put over the gas. In this case, I put them over the flames, so there was no risk of flair ups. I turned the gas up to high. The grate temp reached about 400 degrees.

    After about 10 minutes, the fish started to sweat the little white stuff.

    It's done (10 minutes)! No need to flip. This salmon has the skin on the bottom. It crisped up very nicely, and was very easy to peel off prior to plating. There are those that think grilled salmon skin is delicious. Truthfully, it is... just OK. There is no rub or jelly seasoning. the texture is terrific (very crispy), but I just don't care for the taste. Others do... just not me.

    I always let the meat sit for about 5 minutes to relax prior to serving.

    And I served with a package of those boxed noodle things you make with a little water and butter (don't you judge me), and some frozen corn (you're doing it again, I said don't you judge me) ... it was pre-packaged processed creamy garlic shells and microwaved corn or gruel.

    Taste bottom line... Let's not think about the side dishes, the fish was FABULOUS! A great mix of flavors. the rub was as expected, amazing. the jelly glaze sweetened the fish, while adding just a bit of heat. The flavor of the fish, combined with the unusual taste of the Chinese 5 spice rub, combined with the sweet and heat of this peach jalapeno jelly all meshed perfectly.

    Sadly, this is the best close up shot I got of the flaking fish. Not too well done (salmon gets very rubbery if cooked too long). You just want it to flake... like this. Still moist. This was one of the best tasting salmon hunks I have ever eaten. I LOVED the jelly.

    Total prep time, start to finish (if you do not count the time to thaw the fish in the refrigerator (about a day))... 30 minutes. Fast and flavorful, a perfect weeknight meal.


    1. Looks like a wonderful dish. Salmon is so good for us too and I bet it's wonderful surrounded by that glaze...mmmmmmmm.

    2. Love that glazed salmon! I use the frozen salmon too, as Mo. doesn't have salmon living in Spring River-ha! But the frozen stuff makes for great meals when it's topped with a tasty glaze like this! Well done.

    3. I really like this post. I've used sweet jelly on salmon, but didn't ever think about using a rub first. Gotta try it. I've even glazed salmon with a little real maple syrup. I'm sure a rub would work with that too.

    4. We are so lucky in Oregon we can get fresh salmon just about year round. That sounds like a fantastic recipe!

    5. You did great! I know what you mean about not overcooking, or you'll end up with rubbery fish. I never knew China exported salmon. We get fresh Norwegian salmon all year round, so I guess we Singaporeans should be thankful. Grilled is always a winner for dinner (it rhymes!)

    6. Hey, I'm not judging, I eat frozen corn and noodle mixes all the time. They keep! Heh.

    7. I love salmon and I love it BBQed! Excellent flavours.

      Far be it for me to criticize people's blog templates (though I have BIG problems with the embedded comments thing that you and so many other bloggers are using now) now that you've added a column on the left, I cannot view your page in its entirety, even though I have a 19" monitor. A column is always cut off no matter if I scroll to the left or the right.

    8. Love 5 spice powder.....never even thought of putting it on salmon to grill. You know I'll be trying this one soon. And judge you for boxed noodles?? Dude....kraft dinner mixed with Doritos tostito cheese sauce.....heaven.

    9. Your salmon looks delish! I love jalapeno jelly in any form. Hey, I wouldn't judge you for your boxed pasta and tastes great, so why not?

    10. Using a quote from Dickens is not faire but nice.

      If I used this term "she- who- will- not- be -crossed " I would be in the dog house more than I am.

    11. This looks so delicious and salmon is among my top fav fish varieties.

    12. This post made me nostalgic for the days of salmon fishing with my grandfather in Kansas. (snicker)

      Have fun in New Orleans.

    13. Both types of salmon looks delicious. Never thought to use 5-spice on salmon, but now I will have to give it a try.

    14. Dave, this samlon is like China meets Mexico....! Looks devine !... and extremely flavorful... so creative !

    15. The salmon sounds wonderful, and I absolutely love boxed mac and cheese.

    16. Have you ever read any of the "Rumpole of the Bailey" books. He whispers his wife's name as She Who Must Be Obeyed, LOL

      The salmon looks amazing. Will share this with my brother who's a big fan of salmon.