How to Make Tea‐Marinated Salmon
Tea makes a delicious marinade base for grilled salmon. You can use a gas or charcoal grill to cook marinated salmon on a cedar plank, which gives it a rich, smoky flavor. Cook leftover marinade in a saucepan so you can drizzle it over your finished filets, or opt for a topping of honey instead. Serve your filets with your choice of vegetables, starch, and a complimentary beverage.
3 pounds (1.4 kg) of salmon filets, skins on
1 cup (240 mL) water
Tea bags or crushed tea leaves
1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, or 1 teaspoon (5 mL) chili powder
4 tablespoons (60 mL) cider vinegar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) chili powder
1 cups (240 mL) light maple syrup (optional)
2 tablespoons (20 g) fresh ginger, finely chopped (optional)
4 cloves roasted garlic (optional)
Brew tea.In a heat-safe bowl, pour a cup (240 mL) of boiling water over two tablespoons (20 g) of coarsely crushed tea leaves. Steep the leaves for five minutes. Alternately, use tea bags and follow the package directions to make one cup (240 mL) of tea. Pour the tea through a fine mesh sieve, into a blender, food processor, or bowl.
- Jasmine tea, green tea, or Earl Grey tea are commonly used to marinate salmon. The type of tea you choose depends on your preference.
Blend the tea with the other marinade ingredients.Pour in vinegar, salt, and a chile pepper or chili powder. Add maple syrup, ginger, and garlic, if desired. Whisk or blend the ingredients until smooth.
- If you’re using a blender or food processor and want to cut down on the time it takes to marinate, blend in a cup of ice cubes.
- Wear rubber or plastic gloves when handling hot peppers. If hot pepper comes in contact with your bare hands, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Chill the salmon in the marinade.Leave the skin on the filets, and cut each filet in half, if desired. Place the filets in a resealable plastic bag. Dump the tea mixture over the salmon. Close the bag and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator; turn the bag occasionally.
- If you blended ice into the marinade, let the salmon soak for 30 to 45 minutes. Otherwise, let it marinate for at least an hour.
Soak a cedar plank for at least an hour.Cover the plank with water. Drain the plank of excess water before grilling.
Place the plank over the coals.Put medium-hot charcoal around the inside edge of the grill. Put the plank on a rack above the coals until the wood crackles and smokes, about five minutes.
- If you’re using a gas grill, preheat the grill, then reduce the heat to medium. Place the plank on the grill rack until it crackles and smokes, about five minutes.
Arrange salmon on the plank.Place the marinated salmon filets, skin side down, on the plank. Discard the marinade sauce, or place it back in the refrigerator to cook later as a topping for the salmon. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) chili powder over the filets, and 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) crushed tea leaves, if desired.
Cook salmon for twenty to twenty-four minutes.For a charcoal grill, put the plank in the center of the rack. For a gas grill, move the plank to the unlit side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook the fish until it flakes easily with a fork. For the last four minutes, flip the filets and cook the skinless side.
- Once finished, you can peel off the skin, if desired. It should separate easily from the filets.
Serving the Dish
Top the salmon with dressing.Drizzle honey over the filets. Alternately, if you saved the leftover marinade, bring it to a gentle boil in a saucepan until it reduces by two-thirds. Pour the cooked marinade over the filets. Top the salmon with chopped, fresh chives, if desired.
Add veggies to the plate.Serve salmon on top of salad, such as arugula and avocado. Salmon pairs well with cheese, so you can make a tossed side salad with iceberg lettuce and Parmesan or blue cheese. Try tossing any in-season vegetables in olive oil and red wine vinegar to accompany your filets. Another option is to braise or broil greens – such as asparagus or string beans – in garlic.
Serve a compatible beverage.Try white whine or an India pale ale (IPA). Strong hop and hints of pine go well with cedar plank salmon. For a non-alcoholic drink, try iced tea, or sparkling water mixed with herbs and/or fruit.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer.Place the salmon in a shallow, airtight container, or wrap it securely with plastic wrap or heavy-duty aluminum foil. Store the salmon in the refrigerator for up to three to four days. You can freeze the salmon indefinitely, but it will taste best if you reheat and eat it within two to three months.
- If you notice that the salmon has become milky, slimy, or has a spoiled odor, you should dispose of it rather than eat it.
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