Grilled Salmon with a Zesty Mustard Sauce Delicious Copper River Reds
By Cecil Sanders
Every year we join the hustle of dipping for red salmon down at the Copper River. While the excursion involves intense labor, the product is well worth the effort. Unlike most dip netting spots on the Copper River that require dangling off the cliffs secured by a harness, at "our" spot we use a slower, more secure method—we sweep. We find eddies (currents of water flowing opposite of the rest of the river) along the shore, and sweep our nets through the water hoping to catch any reds using the eddy to move up stream. It usually takes a long night and early morning to either catch our limit, or get close to it. The task then turns to filleting, and then later, back at home, to de-sliming and vacuum sealing. With several households represented in our group, its always interesting to calculate our total weight in fish, and then multiple that by the current market rate. This quick trip to the Copper provides delicious red salmon for the year. To be able to enjoy grilled salmon year round is a nice treat to have!
Sweeping on the Copper River for red salmon | Credit: Cecil Sanders Directions Prepare Salmon - Rinse fillet and pat dry. Debone. Ingredients Salmon Fillet (w/ skin) Seasoning 1 tsp thyme 1 tsp cilantro 1 tsp garlic salt & pepper (to taste) 1/4 cup melted butter Mustard Sauce 3 Tbs mayonnaise 2 Tbs brown mustard 1 Tbs horseradish Seasoning Mix together thyme, cilantro, and garlic in melted butter. Spread over top of salmon fillet. Sprinkle salt and pepper over top. Grilling Salmon Preheat grill to medium-high heat (approximately 325 to 350 degrees) and place salmon either on tin foil or directly on the grill grate, skin side down (for cooking without tin foil, make sure to brush oil onto the grill grate before placement). Allow 10 to 15 minutes for the salmon to cook undisturbed. The most important part of grilling salmon is to not overcook. A minute too long can make the salmon dry and tough. The fillet will easily flake and begin to ooze its white fat when ready. Remove grilled salmon and enjoy!
Grilled salmon and mustard sauce on top | Credit: Cecil Sanders Kitchen Tip: The best way to debone a fish is the run your finger from the head of the fillet down to the tail and locate the pin bones of the fish.The pin bones are spaced approximately half an inch apart along the topside of the fish. There are special tweezers for deboning fish, however any type of tweezer or even needle nose pliers will do. Grab a hold of the bone and pull gently at a 45 degree angle towards the head of the fish.
Grilled Salmon and Mustard Sauce - The Perfect Combination recipe originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Last Frontier Magazine.