The rub creates a tangy crust on the fish and is complemented by a sweet, buttery glaze. Fresh fish is the key to success; buy firm-fleshed fillets that do not have gaps and do not smell fishy.
The rub can be stored in an airtight container and kept in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. This recipe makes about 1 1/3 cups total.
The salmon is best served hot, right off the grill. It can, however, be eaten chilled on crackers.
- For the rub and fish
- 2 tablespoons whole yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
- 1/2 cup light brown, raw or turbinado sugar
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup Spanish smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 pounds skinless salmon fillets, pin bones removed; preferably center-cut, cut crosswise into 3- to 6-inch-wide strips
- For the glaze
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- Pinch finely ground white or black pepper
For the rub and fish: Combine the mustard and coriander seeds, peppercorns and dill weed in a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground; transfer to a medium bowl. Add the sugar, salt, paprika and garlic powder, stirring to mix well.
Meanwhile, rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Thirty minutes before cooking, apply a thorough, even coating of the rub all over the fillets.
When ready to cook, prepare the grill for direct heat: If using a gas grill, preheat to medium (350 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area. For a medium fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 6 to 8 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.
Place the fillets on the grate at least 12 to 18 inches above direct heat and cook on one side for 8 to 10 minutes (with the temperature no higher than 350 degrees) or until a golden-brown crust has formed, then carefully turn them over and cook for 5 to 6 minutes (you will be brushing them with glaze during the last 2 minutes of cooking time). The fillets are done when their internal temperature registers about 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
While the salmon is cooking, make the glaze: Combine the melted butter, maple syrup, soy sauce and white or black pepper in a measuring cup. Brush the mixture on the fillets during their last minute or two on the grill, then turn and brush on the second side. Brush 1 more time on the first side just as you remove the fillets from the grill. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Adapted from a recipe on the Web site of Dizzy Pig Barbecue.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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