Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk the barbeque king grilled these sumptuous pink salmon recipes on Global Morning News ahead of our biennial Pink Salmon Festival on August 27, 2017. Get his recipes below:
Easiest, Tastiest Marinade
Makes about 11/2 cups | 375 mL, enough for 2 to 4 pink salmon fillets
One of my all-time favorites. I use this mainly as a quick and delicious marinade for beef steak, but it’s also great with pork chops or chicken, as well as rich, meaty fish like salmon (especially pink salmon!), halibut, tuna, and swordfish. I’ve provided precise measurements of the ingredients, but it’s really meant to be a marinade that you just throw together. A few glugs of soy sauce, a small glug of sesame oil, as much garlic and ginger as you like, and so on. Once you try this, it will become a standard in your kitchen.
- 1 cup | 250 mL dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp | 5 mL toasted sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 Tbsp | 15 mL finely chopped or grated fresh ginger
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp | 15 mL lemon juice or 1/4 cup | 50 mL mirin
- (Japanese sweet rice wine)
- 1 Tbsp | 15 mL tapioca starch (cornstarch will also do)
Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, black pepper, lemon juice or mirin, and tapioca starch in a nonreactive baking dish. Add the meat or fish, turn it to coat it, and marinate it for 10 minutes to 1?2 hour, turning it once or twice. Don’t marinate it overnight, as this is fairly salty.
Grilled Whole Pink Salmon in Foil
Makes 4-6 servings
The following simple technique gives the fish a more subtle and delicate flavor and texture than grilling over direct heat, and the orange adds a lovely flavor and aroma.
- 1 whole, cleaned 3-4 lb | 1.5 – 2 kg wild BC pink salmon (you can also do this with other salmon species or trout)
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 Tbsp | 45 mL butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp | 25 mL chopped fresh parsley and any other fresh herb you have handy
- 1/2 medium white onion, peeled
- 2 oranges or lemons
- sprigs of parsley for garnish
Prepare your grill for medium direct heat. Tear off a strip of heavy-duty foil 21/2 times as long as the fish and double it. Spread 1 Tbsp | 15 mL of the butter evenly over the top surface of the foil. Place the fish on the buttered foil. Lightly
season the fish inside and out with salt and pepper, and sprinkle it with chopped parsley. Slice the onion and one of the oranges or lemons into thin rounds and place half of the onion and citrus slices inside the body cavity and the other half on top of the fish. Daub the remaining 2 Tbsp | 30 mL butter inside the fish and on top of the onion and orange slices. Squeeze half the remaining citrus over everything and wrap the foil around the fish, sealing it tightly.
Place the foil package on the cooking grate, cover the grill, and cook the trout for 8–12 minutes, or until the fish is just done (about 140 to 150F | 60 to 66C). You can poke a meat thermometer through the foil in the last few minutes of cooking to check for doneness. To serve, open up the foil, carefully transfer the fish to a warmed platter, and pour the juices left in the foil over the fish (alternatively, it looks great served in the foil, too). Garnish the trout with citrus wedges and parsley sprigs.
BBQ Pink Salmon
The idea here is very simple. Lightly dust your pink salmon fillets with BBQ rub and drizzle them with some olive oil. Preheat the grill on high. When you’re ready to cook, scrape the cooking grate till it’s clean and smooth and place the fillets, flesh side down, on the grate. Cover the grill and cook for two or three minutes, just until the fillets release from the grate. Turn the salmon so it’s skin-side down, cover the grill again and cook until done, about another three or four minutes. Just before you take the salmon off the grill, give it a thin coating of barbecue sauce with a basting brush.
For extra flavour you can place a couple of hardwood chunks (hickory, apple or alder would work well) below the cooking grate a few minutes before you put the fish on. You can also use wood chips, soaked in water and wrapped in a cigar-shaped tin foil wrapper.
Here are my favourite BBQ rub and sauce ingredients, but feel free to use your go-to recipes/
Championship Barbecue Rub, a.k.a. Bob’s Rub
Makes about 3 cups | 750 mL
My team, the Butt Shredders, call this Bob’s Rub, and it’s what we use in competition. Bob Lyon, the granddaddy of barbecue in the Pacific Northwest, shared this at the barbecue workshop that first
introduced me to the joys of real barbecue and prompted me to become a barbecue competitor. It follows a rule of thumb that’s worth remembering: A third, a third, a third. Which means one-third sugar, one-third seasoned salts, and one-third dry herbs and spices.
- 1 cup | 250 mL white sugar
- 1/4 cup | 50 mL celery salt
- 1/4 cup | 50 mL garlic salt
- 1/4 cup | 50 mL onion salt
- 1/4 cup | 50 mL seasoning salt (I like Lawrey’s)
- 1/3 cup | 75 mL chili powder (use a commercial blend, or if you want an edge, try a combination of real ground chiles like ancho, poblano, New Mexico or guajillo)
- 1/3 cup | 75 mL black pepper
- 1/3 cup | 75 mL paprika
Add as much heat as you want to this basic rub, using cayenne pepper, hot paprika, or ground chipotles. Then add 2 or 3 signature spices to suit whatever you’re cooking or your personal taste, like powdered thyme, oregano, cumin, sage, powdered ginger, etc. Add only 1 to 3 tsp | 5 to 15 mL of each signature seasoning so as not to overpower the rub.
Ron’s Rich, Deeply Satisfying Dipping Sauce
(With acknowledgments to the Baron of Barbecue, Paul Kirk)
Makes about 6 cups | 1.5 L
Any student of barbecue has to bow in the direction of Kansas City once in a while, and Paul Kirk is one of the world’s greatest barbecue cooks and also perhaps its best-known ambassador. Paul has taught thousands of cooks the essentials of barbecue, and this rich, sweet, tangy sauce is based on his Kansas City classic.
- 2 Tbsp | 25 mL powdered ancho, poblano or New Mexico chiles
- 1 Tbsp | 15 mL ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp | 15 mL dry mustard
- 1 tsp | 5 mL ground coriander
- 1 tsp | 5 mL ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp | 1 mL ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp | 2 mL grated nutmeg
- up to 1 tsp | 5 mL cayenne, according to your taste
- 1/4 cup | 50 mL neutral-flavored oil, such as canola
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 cup | 125 mL tightly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup | 250 mL white vinegar
- 1/2 cup | 125 mL clover honey
- 1/4 cup | 50 mL Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
- or a combination
- 1 tsp | 5 mL liquid smoke or hickory smoked salt (optional)
- 1 32 oz. | 1-L keg ketchup
Mix all the spices together and set the mixture aside. Heat the oil in a big pot over medium heat and gently sauté the onion, garlic, and shallot until tender. Add the spices and mix the ingredients together thoroughly, cooking the mixture for 2 or 3 minutes to bring out their flavors.
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer the mixture for 30 minutes, stirring often (be careful, it spatters). Don’t cook it too long or it will start to caramelize and you’ll have spicy fudge. If you want a very smooth sauce, blend it with a hand blender or food processor. Refrigerate it or preserve it as you would a jam or jelly in mason jars. Use the sauce as a glaze or dip for barbecued meats, as a flavoring sauce in fajitas, or mix it half-and-half with mayo for a fabulous dip for French fries.
Note: This thick sauce is designed for dipping. If you want to use it as a basting sauce or a glaze, thin it with water, apple juice, or Jack Daniel’s to suit your taste and the task at hand.
Use sauce sparingly when grilling, planking, or barbecuing meat. In competition we use it only as a finishing glaze. If you baste meat with a sugary sauce more than an hour before you take it off the smoker or more than a few minutes before removing it from the grill, it will turn black when the sugar caramelizes from the heat. Also use sauce sparingly when you serve, offering it to guests on the side. Too much sauce and you lose the barbecue flavor you’ve worked so hard to achieve!