With Father’s Day approaching and fresh wild salmon running and available, I thought I’d grill some. I love fresh wild salmon. Frozen fish is just too dry for me. So I get really happy when fresh wild salmon becomes easy to forage. Wild salmon is so loaded with nutrients it is something I can eat several times a week.
For starters, salmon is brimming with omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). These are essential fatty acids which means that they must be eaten — our bodies do not make them. As you probably know, EPA and DHA have healthy anti-inflammatory properties and are very important for healthy cell membranes. Salmon has a unique protein and amino acid composition that makes it very easy to digest. This fish contains short protein molecules called peptides that have anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon also provides significant amounts of the antioxidant amino acid taurine.
Other nutrients obtained from wild salmon are vitamin D and astaxanthin. Vitamin D has bone building, anti-cancer and immune protective benefits. Astaxanthin is the powerfully anti-inflammatory, carotenoid-class antioxidant that gives wild salmon its vibrant red-orange color. Salmon is also a very good source of niacin, phosphorus, magnesium and B6.
In one 4 ounce serving of WILD salmon, you can get as much as 2 grams of EPA/DHA. If you eat that twice a week you would not need to take any supplements for these important fatty acids. This omega 3 fat is protective to the heart and brain and protective against other diseases of inflammation such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis. However it is wild salmon, not farmed salmon that provides these vital nutrients.
My favorite way to prepare it is to grill it. It’s very easy, you just have to be careful not to overcook it!
For further information about the differences between farmed and wild salmon see my previous recipe for delicious salmon patties.
Grilled Wild Salmon
1 1/2 pounds of wild salmon fillet with the skin on
unrefined sesame oil
roasted walnut oil
Using the sesame oil for cooking is not necessary with fresh wild salmon, however, when you are cooking frozen wild salmon it helps to keep it moist. The roasted walnut oil may be used on fresh or frozen fish after it is cooked to add a little flavor. Walnut oil should NEVER be used for cooking as it is a very delicate omega 3 oil. Add it only after the fish has cooled. The combination of salmon with roasted walnut oil is delicious!
- Heat the grill to a medium heat (about 300 degrees)
- Cut large slices (about 3″ in width) of the fillet, keeping the skin on
- With a tablespoon, sprinkle drops of unrefined sesame oil over the fish
- Place the pieces skin side down on the grill and cover
- Cook for about 7 minutes and check — it should look more cooked than raw when it is ready to turn
- Using a spatula, work it between the skin and the fish (it should separate smoothly)
- Remove the skin and flip the fish over
- Place the skin on a separate plate and continue to turn all the pieces and cover the grill
- Cook this side for about 3 — 4 minutes — this side will get grill marks and the pieces will flake off when cooked
- Bring platter of fish inside and let cook slightly
- Take one to two tablespoons of the roasted walnut oil and spread it over the pieces before serving
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