This grilled King salmon recipe features luscious King salmon cooked on a grill and served with a fresh, homemade plum sauce.
How do you feel about grilling fish?
Do you adore the smoky, extra-deliciousness, but dread the grilling part?
Do you watch your fish nervously, and hold your breath to make sure that it doesn't fall to its doom down into the charcoal pit?
I don't-- not normally, that is.
Well, partly because it's the husband manning the grill. I trust his fish-flipping skills, and grilling fish is easy if your grill plates are clean.
Recently, however, I was staring as two gorgeous, GORGEOUS, fillets of thick, marbled, prized, luxurious King salmon sat on my grill, and I felt fear in my heart.
Suddenly the grill seemed a little scarier, and the fillets a little too delicate-- and I wanted reassurance that my fish would NOT fall into the grill.
What did I do?
What can you do, if you've got an especially pretty fillet to grill? Keep reading, and find out!
Plus, find out how to make grilled salmon with plum sauce-- a spectacular, date-night worthy meal!
How to Use a Fish Basket for Salmon with Plum Sauce
How did I ease my worried mind, and keep my fish safe and sound on the grill? I used a fish grilling basket!
A fish grilling basket is a metal basket with a long handle.
They're inexpensive, and will hold your fish up against the grill, without it actually touching the grill grates.
These baskets are fabulous for fillets-- particularly delicate fillets-- because when it's time to flip your fish, you just flip over the entire basket.
For the record, King salmon is not a 'particularly delicate' fish-- but it is a high-quality, more luxurious fillet, and losing even a little corner of the fish on a grill would be a minor tragedy.
What Makes King Salmon Special?
Have you tried King salmon (or Chinook salmon) before?
It's the largest species of salmon, has more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than any other species of salmon, has a buttery and rich flavor, and meat that melts in your mouth.
If you love King salmon, check out my other favorite King salmon recipes.
Using (Well) Farmed King Salmon
This summer, I had the chance to try out some King salmon from New Zealand. New Zealand farmed salmon is considered a ‘Best Choice’ by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
Plus, their King salmon is DELICIOUS on the grill!
Grilled King Salmon with Plum Sauce
- Grilling basket
- heat-proof gloves (if your grilling basket does not have an insulated handle)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 5 plums (red or black), pitted and diced Optionally, peel the plums for a smoother sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce (use gluten-free soy sauce if needed)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, to taste) Amount needed will depend on how sweet your plums are. If plums are very sweet, you can omit.
Grilled King Salmon:
- 2 King salmon fillets (~4oz each)
- pinch salt, pepper
- Preheat grill and fish basket until they're both very hot.
- While grill heats up, heat the olive oil on medium-high in a sauté pan. When the oil is hot, and ripples when swirled around the pan, add the plums and stir with a wooden spoon. Sauté about 2 minutes, until the plums soften.
- Add the soy sauce and cayenne, and continue sautéing for another 2 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat to low, and add the vinegar. Taste the sauce, and add sugar if desired. Remove the sauce from heat, and cover the pan to keep the sauce warm while you grill the salmon.
- Pat salmon dry. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
- Carefully open the hot fish basket, using heat proof gloves if your basket doesn't have an insulated handle, and set salmon inside the basket.
- Grill the salmon 4-5 minutes, skin side down, then flip the basket. Grill the salmon for about 4 more minutes, until the salmon's translucent pink flesh has just barely turned pale pink. If you're concerned about overcooking your salmon, you can leave the grill lid off, and wait until the flesh has turned cooked through about halfway before flipping the fish. If you leave the lid off, take care to stand back from the grill, since the oil dripping off this extra-oily fish can cause the grill to flame up.
- Remove salmon from the basket, and serve immediately with the plum sauce.