Wild West Salmon

I was listening to host Mark Forsythe on BC Almanac today and he was kind enough to mention me as he remembered that I was the first person to serve him pink salmon barbecued on a cedar plank, some 10 or 12 years ago. 

Mark was having a delicious time of it on the radio as he was joined by Kale & Nori Culinary Arts chef Jonathan Chovancek on the CBC Plaza in Vancouver.  Jonathan was barbecuing a whole, boned pink he had basted in sake lees and stuffed with fresh lobster mushrooms.  That got me hungry, so I called in to tell Mark and Jonathan of another salmon barbecue recipe that is well-suited for pink salmon, called Wild West Salmon.

The recipe is below, but while I have your attention I just wanted to promote a one-day seminar I am giving at UBC’s Robson Square on Saturday, September 17th.  I’m teaming up with Tris Hussey, author of ‘Create Your Own Blog’, on Building and Promoting A Food Blog.   I’ll show you how to develop and maintain your own blog, with tips on themes, promotion and writing to attract a larger audience. Then learn to build a blog with Tris using the WordPress blogging platform.  You will have your own food blog by the end of the day! Just go to the UBC Writing Centre website for more info on how to sign up. (and check out my other food and travel writing courses as well!)

…and now back to our regularly scheduled programming.  Here is the recipe for Wild West Salmon.

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes for salmon, which I found in a Canadian Homemakers magazine years and years ago.  Don’t be put off by the marinade…it looks and smells like tar!  But once you cook it, the flavour is divine.

Wild West Salmon

1 Whole salmon, up to 5 pounds

1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 Cup rye whiskey
1 Tablespoon molasses
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon each Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper
2 Garlic Cloves — minced

Combine marinade ingredients, mix well and pour into large, flat dish. Remove head, tail and fins from salmon. Run a sharp knife down backbone until salmon opens flat.  Place flesh side down in the marinade and refrigerate overnight or for at least a few hours. When ready to grill, remove salmon from marinade and place skin side down on oiled grill. Barbecue until flesh is just opaque and flakes easily, 20-30 minutes or less, depending on the size of the salmon.  The backbone and side bones should lift right out of the flesh.  I usually serve this with wild rice, or a combination of wild rice and brown rice, and a side vegetable dish. Enjoy!

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2 Responses to Wild West Salmon

  1. Adriana West says:

    At one time I had that Canadian Homemakers magazine, and, loving salmon, I tried the marinade.
    It does look and smell like tar, but the salmon was to die for, and whether it was grilled/bbq’d or baked in the oven didn’t really seem to matter. It’s the marinade that counts.
    Through many moves, somehow that little magazine was lost, so I’m very glad that you posted this recipe on-line. I’ll be sure to add it to my collection right away.

  2. Gloria Loreque says:

    I also have been looking for this recipe for years since I used to make it for family and loved ones. Today I went on google and typed in homemakers magazine whiskey salmon recipe. I saw your blog and was so excited that you had printed it out for all to see I will be so glad to be able to make this again. Im old now but my daughter comes once in awhile my daughter comes for one of the meals I cook that she loves. She’s asked many times about the whiskey salmon. I’m so thankful to you for saving it and printing it. It truly is a delicious recipe and a keepsake.l don’t cook big meals anymore, just when my daughter comes over but it’s worthwhile when she does.

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