Alder-Wood-Smoked-Salt Salmon 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Smoke Signals Feb 5, 2014

Alder is an assertive smoking wood, commonly used for smoking meats and fish in the Pacific Northwest, where it is indigenous. The treatment here marries the region's Pacific Rim flavorings with alder smoke.

Despite the presence of the chili-infused sesame oil, the salmon's flavor is mild, with not much more than a whisper of heat.

Make Ahead: The marinade can be assembled and refrigerated a day in advance.

Where to Buy: Alder-wood-smoked salt is available at Sur La Table.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons hot chili sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced scallion (white and light-green parts)
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon homemade or store-bought alder-wood-smoked salt, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Six 6-ounce skin-on, center-cut salmon fillets
  • 2 limes, each cut into 8 wedges, for serving (optional)


Combine the soy sauce, orange juice, hot chili sesame oil, scallion, ginger, smoked salt and the pepper in a liquid measuring cup; whisk vigorously to blend well.

Place the fillets in a shallow baking dish. Pour the marinade evenly over them, then turn the fillets to coat them on all sides. Arrange them skin side down and marinate at room temperature for a total of 45 minutes, turning the fillets over twice during that time so they finish skin side down.

Position an oven rack 4 inches from the broiler element or flame; preheat the broiler for 2 minutes.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil; arrange the fillets skin side down on the foil, reserving any excess marinade.

Broil the fillets for 6 to 8 minutes (medium-rare). The salmon should have a rich mahogany hue. Let the fillets rest for 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the reserved marinade to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Pour the marinade over the fillets, then sprinkle with a little smoked salt. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

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Recipe Source

From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.

Tested by Jeff Donald.

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