I just spent nearly all summer without a grill. Now that September is here and I have my grill back, I’m firing it up every chance I get. These Grilled Salmon Kabobs with Asian Barbecue Glaze were a perfect weeknight meal last week, served atop Sesame Scallion Rice.
I got married in May and we moved to my husband’s bachelor pad for three months, waiting for our new apartment to be ready. Space was a little tight, and there really wasn’t a good place for a grill (we live in Chicago, and many multi-unit apartment buildings don’t have balconies).
Once we moved into our new place, we finally had the deck I’ve always wanted. It fits a table and chairs, a grill, and more than two people at one time (which is somewhat rare in Chicago). It faces west so it gets tons of afternoon sun. I can’t wait to plant herbs and flowers next year to take advantage!
Salmon is usually one of our weekly staples. We both love it, I can usually find it on sale, and it’s heart-healthy. Sometimes I want to change the simple salmon fillet with lemon, though. Enter these kabobs.
We eat with our eyes, so color is the key to making a meal look appealing. Do you ever look down at your plate and think, “wow, that’s a lot of brown”? Most meat and starches fall into the tan/brown category, and if you serve cauliflower on the side, then you have an awfully beige-colored plate. Here, I combined the pink-red fish with bright lime slices, and brushed it with a rich reddish glaze.
The salmon gets a delightful crispiness from the grill, and the lime imparts even more flavor to the sweet and tangy glaze. I make the glaze on the stovetop, and then brush it on the salmon after it gets off the grill. Truthfully, it’s because I can’t stand cleaning sticky sauces off the grill. (similar to these Glazed Pork Chops with Honey Soy Glaze). The glaze is already thick, so it doesn’t need the heat from the grill to adhere to the meat.
I love serving kabobs on a bed of something, and rice is the perfect choice for the Asian-flavored glazed salmon. I jazzed the rice up with two ingredients: toasted sesame oil and sliced scallions. The sesame oil especially adds an incredible toasty flavor, which complements the glazed salmon really nicely.
To go with the meal, I grilled baby cok choy and brushed it with a ginger brown butter. It was such a nice change of pace from grilled asparagus or sautéed green beans. The recipe for that is coming soon! It all pulled together in an Asian-inspired meal that’s perfect for a summer evening. If the weather is bad or grilling isn’t an option, these recipes would work well on an indoor grill pan.
Grilled Salmon Kabobs with Asian Barbecue Glaze
Yield 2 servings
- 1 lb salmon (I used fresh Atlantic salmon)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped or grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 2 large limes, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Wooden skewers
- Soak the skewers for 30 minutes in water. This prevents the skewers from scorching on the grill.
- Preheat a grill to medium high heat. Cut the salmon into 1 inch cubes and season with salt and pepper. Place a salmon cube on a skewer, followed by a slice of lime. Alternate salmon and lime until the skewer is filled. Repeat with remaining salmon and lime slices.
- Combine brown sugar, hoisin sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, sriracha, and ginger in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the glaze thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place the salmon skewers over direct heat. Grill for 3–4 minutes, or until the salmon releases easily from the grill grates. Flip and cook for an additional 3–4 minutes. Brush the glaze over the salmon cubes, grill for another minute, and remove from the grill. Serve immediately.
Instead of an outdoor grill, the salmon kabobs can also be made on an indoor grill pan.
Sesame Scallion Rice
Yield 2 servings
Just four ingredients and packed full of flavor!
- 1½ cups jasmine rice or another long-grain white rice
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 4 scallions, sliced thinly
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a saucepan over high heat, combine rice with 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork. Stir in the sesame oil, grated ginger, and sliced scallions. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
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