I'll go way out on a limb and say that the recipe I use for all salmon happens to be one of the best for pinks. Where great recipes for sockeye and king accent the flavor of the fish, this recipe adds great flavor, but isn't overkill. The best part about all these pinks is it gives us the opportunity to experiment. The second recipe below is a creative out of the box recipe that you wouldn't dare do with the more highly sought after table fare salmon.
Best Grilled Pink:
This recipe combines several elements and cooking techniques that really add great flavor and solve the issue of the soft texture of pink salmon. The fish is essentially "braised" in oil and seared either first or last (your choice)
The catch: Always bleed, gut, and ice your pink as soon it is brought to hand. If I see you carrying a dead humpy on a stick that you use to hold it in place in six inches of water on a 70*+ day as you continue to fish for several hours, I'll kick you in the junk. Bring a cooler and get some ice!!
The boat: Create a foil "boat" to place the fish in using tin foil. Fold it up to create walls that will hold the secret sauce
The fillet: Place your fillet on the foil and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon to coat. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before sprinkling with either, or a combination of, lemon pepper & Johny's Salmon seasoning
1 stick butter
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 Tbs ketchup
3 dashes Tabasco
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Juice from 1/2 - 1 whole lemon
Lemon pepper to taste - (approx 1/2 TBS)
combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and melt. (great on steaks too!)
The Grill: Preheat your grill to 400*
The bath: pour the lemonny-garlicy-buttery goodness on top of the salmon.
The braise: place the foil boat in the grill and cook with the lid closed. DO NOT BURN THE BUTTER. Check after 5-10 minutes and turn down the heat to medium.
The sear: There is an argument that salmon should be seared first, then finished skin down and vice-versa. I do both and really don't care about the finer points, I know what tastes good to me. Once the fish is done to your liking slide the boat over and crank up the grill. Place the fish skin side up. A tip here is to pre-cut your fillet into manageable portions. We aren't going for presentation here, we are going for taste. Sear the fish to your liking, rotating a 1/4 turn to get those pretty grill marks. This step really firms up the fish and produces those yummy Maillard reactions. This also gives you the opportunity to scrape off the skin and baste with some sauce from the boat on the tasty grey matter.
The End: Enjoy!
Out of box salmon tacos:
This recipe is out of this world good and the easiest dang way to cook all those pinks. If you have a fish that you feel is of lower quality once you cut it open and not fit for grilling, then this is the best way to utilize that fish as it adds intense flavor.
The fish: cut your pink into 1/2 inch cubes and coat with taco seasoning (yes the stuff in the little packets)
The cook: heat 1/4 inch of oil in a cast iron pan and blacken the salmon cubes
The relish: cut, chop, and combine the following (or be lazy and buy fresh pico de gallo, or make your own)
1 white onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced
The assembly: gather the remaining ingredients -
1 package corn tortillas
2 cups grated cotija cheese (optional)
2 limes, cut into wedges
Salsa or Hot sauce
Warm the tortillas in a skillet for about a minute on each side to make them pliable. Arrange two or three tortillas on a plate, and lay a generous amount of salmon over them. Top with a sprinkle of the onion relish and a large spoonful of salsa or hot sauce. Add as much cheese as you like. Garnish with lime wedges & cilantro, and serve.