My husband and I have a favorite recipe for salmon: No matter what else we try, we revert to Saigon Sizzle with honey, drizzled over the fish during cooking and after. Saigon Sizzle Stir-Fry Sauce is a product made by House of Tsang. You can find it in the Asian section of your supermarket, but I’m noticing more and more that products come and go.
If you can’t find it, you might want to try my friend Laura Stewart’s salmon marinade (recipe below). For the best results, marinate the fish overnight.
To go with the salmon, nothing is simpler than vegetable packets, but if you have an oven aboard, you can roast the vegetables on a tray in the oven while the fish is grilling. My favorite sides are tiny potatoes from Trader Joe’s already packaged with oil and a rosemary spring. You can find them in the refrigerated produce section.
My husband is absolutely addicted to the roasted potato seasoning from Silverwater Café in Port Townsend, which I buy from the restaurant and sprinkle on the potatoes liberally along with a grind of pepper, a grind of salt and a pinch of garlic powder. I put the potatoes in a separate foil packet or on a tray for roasting. Then I make a packet of shredded carrots, sugar snap peas and English peas, all from the refrigerated produce section at Trader Joe’s.
Or, if you like, buy a bag of Trader Joe’s haricot verts. You can put them in a foil packet and grill them or you can roast them in the oven. But be sure to make a single line of green beans; otherwise they will steam instead of roast.
My favorite kitchen tool for coating the vegetables with oil and seasonings is a big stainless steel bowl. You too can feel like a galley chef when you forward flip your vegetables in a bowl.
Grilled Salmon with Saigon Sizzle
3 tbsp. honey
1/4 cup Saigon Sizzle Stir-Fry Sauce
One 16-inch salmon filet
Grill salmon until nearly done and spoon sauce over fish. Serve with extra sauce.
A tip I learned from Greg Atkinson, the chef/owner of Marché in Winslow on Bainbridge Island, during a seafood cooking class when he was executive chef at Canlis in Seattle, will lead to perfectly grilled fish. As soon as the juices of the fish begin to coagulate and turn white, it is time to check for doneness. Probe the flesh with a knife and see if it is barely opaque. Greg’s first choice for grilling is king salmon.
And a word about those hot, hot grills: My husband added lava rocks to our Magnum grill and that has made all the difference in taming the flame. Before that, everything was scorched.
Also, sometimes I put the fish directly on the grill, but cooking it in a disposable aluminum pan spares a great deal of cleanup.
Laura Stewart’s Famous Salmon Marinade
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey or brown sugar
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 cup oil
1 to 2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated fine
Double the recipe for a large amount of salmon or meat. Marinade for at least 6 hours before cooking, but overnight is best!
This marinade is also good with steak or chicken.
Easy Vegetable Packets
For potato packets, I like to put the potatoes in a large stainless steel bowl, drizzle with olive oil, then grind fresh pepper and salt over them, a bit of garlic powder and a liberal sprinkle of Silverwater Secrets roasted potato seasoning. Toss in bowl in a forward motion, like you’ve seen on Top Chef, flipping the vegetables and coating them with the seasonings.
Tear two large sheets of grilling foil and lay them in a cross pattern. Join the foil together at the top and crimp. Roll foil down over potatoes and fold in the sides until you have a sealed packet. Place on heated grill for 20 minutes. But check potatoes at 10 minutes with a fork, being careful not to scald yourself with hot steam when unwrapping. Some grills are very hot.
Alternatively, place seasoned potatoes on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet and bake at 425° for about 20 minutes. Check for doneness with fork after 15 minutes.
Tiny yellow or fingerling potatoes (I prefer Trader Joe’s already oiled with a rosemary sprig)
Roasted potato seasoning (Silverwater Secrets roasted potato seasoning, or any steak seasoning works)
Olive oil to coat
Grind of salt and pepper
Sprinkle of garlic powder
For mixed vegetable packets, string sugar snap peas and snap off the tough ends. Place sugar snap peas, English peas and shredded carrots on grilling foil (see above for making packets). Add little squares of butter and a sprinkle of lemon pepper salt, some garlic powder and a grind of salt and pepper. Wrap packet up tight. Grill 10 to 20 minutes, checking for tenderness after 10 minutes.
Sugar snap peas (small package from Trader Joe’s)
English peas (small package from Trader Joe’s)
Shredded carrots (small package from Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp. butter, diced into tiny squares
Lemon pepper seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
For haricot verts, I like these tiny tender green beans best roasted in the oven, but you can make foil packets if you prefer. Empty a bag of haricot verts into a large stainless steel bowl, coat with oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss. Wrap into a foil packet and grill for 10 to 20 minutes. Or, to roast, line beans up on a cookie sheet/jelly roll tray in a single file. Roast in 425° oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Check often.
Package haricot verts
Olive oil to coat
Grind of pepper and salt
Sprinkle of garlic powder
Large stainless steel bowl
Cookie sheet or jelly roll tray