This recipe uses a whole side of Salmon cooked on the BBQ. It’s easier than you think and cooking a whole side is a great way to control how it’s cooked. This recipe is perfect for gatherings and will not disappoint on flavour.
So you are wondering How to BBQ Salmon with Pickled Ginger and Sesame? It is easy. Believe me. In fact, I think it is easier than trying to barbecue 10 small pieces of salmon and turning them individually. But, if you would like you can also use this recipe and do just that too!
It’s barbecue time again. I love barbecue time because I love cooking outdoors. I took the cooking outside quite literally this week when I took the cooking over to my friend’s apartment. She has one of those ” ziggy” barbecues on the balcony.
That’s her, Ziggy, right there, and yes the salmon fitted easily and cooked to perfection. Salmon is by far the easiest fish to cook for most people. It is beautifully edible cooked through or not and there are no bones in this to worry you. A whole side will feed between 6 and 12 people depending on the size. The one I bought was from a whale-sized Salmon weighing 1.6 kg (3.5 lb). A side this size can feed 10-12 people.
It couldn’t be easier, especially if you have a BBQ with a lid. When this fish starts cooking the aroma of sesame and ginger perfumes the air and those are two of my favourite smells.
Salmon is so delicious with Japanese flavours. All you really need are some soy, sesame oil and pickled ginger to make a truly memorable feast. There are no carbs attached to this recipe but you can add some rice or even potato if you like. Grilled Sweet potato or potato salad would be perfection.
How do I cook a whole side of Salmon on the BBQ?
- If you have never bought a side of salmon before you may need to go to a fish market or ask your local fish store to save you one before cutting them into fillets. A side should be firm and shiny with no real smell. They can sometimes seem a bit slimy. This is the natural fluids escaping from the fats.
- Ask for the Salmon to be pin boned if you do not have a set of tweezers or have never done this before. These are the small bones that run down the centre of the fillet from the backbone. (there is a link to an explanation of pin bones are above).
- The salmon fillet will have part of the belly attached. For some, this is a delicacy. It is tasty and a lovely white and orange colour but is essentially almost all fat. It is not unpleasant but extremely rich just like pork belly or the fat on a Lamb chop. You can remove some of this so less liquids will escape into your foil when you wrap and grill. This also means nobody will get a whole piece of belly fat when they dig in to serve themselves. Again you could ask the Fishmonger to trim this for you. Here’s a 25 second video on showing where the salmon belly is
- The weight of the Salmon you buy will depend on how many you are feeding. A 1.5 kg ( 3.5 pounds) side will be suitable for up to 10 people with sides. This will provide for a little extra.
- To cook your fish you will need a double layer of thick alfoil. If yours is very thin triple it. It needs to run the length of the fish and partway up the side. You may need to put several long pieces together overlapping (see the picture below)
- Add the flavourings to the fish by painting and sprinkling the ingredients on the top. I have use Furikake or Wakame seasoning. You can buy this at a shop that sells Japanese supplies. It is a mixture of seaweed and salt and seeds and goes with any seafood or fish.
- Don’t skip the pickled ginger as this is BEST thing about the dressing and seasoning. You can get it in most supermarkets these days. The liquid is irresistible in the dressing along with sesame oil.
- Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise is also a great accompaniment you will find in the supermarket. There are also flavours like sesame and wasabi too. This is a gentle mayo that is unbelievably good on EVERYTHING.
The fish goes straight onto the BBQ in the foil and cooks for several minutes before putting the lid down. It takes all of 20 minutes or so.
Salmon done this way cooks so quickly you will need to have all of the other sides and salads ready before you cook the fish. The recipe below gives you a number of hints for preparation and timing.
Once the fish is opaque on the base ( see below), put the lid down and finish the cooking.
The trickiest part of this Salmon is slipping it off the grill. You will need to put a serving tray or platter close. It’s helpful to have a helping hand. Push a fish slice or preferably two under the foil at either end of the fish and lift the fish onto the platter or tray. You can fold back the sides of the foil under the Salmon so that it is nearly hidden and serve as is. This is what I usually do.
If you would like to serve it minus the foil, again get someone to help. Put the fish slice under the top half of the salmon (while on the platter) while you fold back the foil to start removing it. Do the same with the other half and pull the foil free. You can garnish your salmon with coriander or picked watercress or even Asparagus and parsley. These are handy garnishes if your salmon breaks a little.
I served it with barbecued Zucchini and Asparagus and quartered baby cos (Romaine) lettuce smothered with Kewpie mayonnaise. This means a serious bit of easy cooking.
When cooking this you just need to have all the sides ready to go before putting the fish on.
** If you can’t find Sesame Wakame seasoning then a mixture of Nigella seeds, sesame seeds and a little miso mixed would probably give a nice flavour. be careful with the salt for this combination as miso can be quite salty) This is not a gluten free recipe *
Try these other great BBQ recipes.
- BBQ fruit with frozen Vanilla cream and coconut caramel After such a great BBQ what about dessert? With just a little planning ahead but you could have dessert ready in minutes and use the Barbecue again to make it too!
How to BBQ Salmon, Pickled Ginger and Sesame
- 30 gm furikake (Sesame Wakame Seasoning Futaba Furikake Aji Goma Wakame)
- 1.5 kg Salmon side cleaned and pin boned ( the fishmonger can do this) approx 11/2 – 2kg
- 20 ml ginger pickling liquid optional
- 60 ml Sesame oil 3-4 Tablespoons
- 5 gm salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon pickled ginger julienned, pink
- 20 ml Soy Sauce
- 40 ml pickled ginger liquid
- 40 ml Sesame oil
- 40 ml lemon Juice
- 60 ml olive oil
- 4 whole cos lettuce baby (romaine)
- 3 bunches Asparagus ( approx 300 gm the thick kind trimmed )
- 3 large Zucchini sliced into long thin slices
- 5 gm salt and pepper
- Put all of the Asparagus and Zucchini in a bowl with enough oil to coat. Set aside
- Clean and quarter 4 baby cos ( Romaine) lettuce.
- Spin dry well. Put onto a platter and cover with Kewpie mayonnaise and a little pepper or (wasabi if you like )
- Mix the soy, ginger water, lemon and sesame oil in a jar and shake. Set aside
- Heat the barbeque by turning it on and putting down the lid, while you prepare the salmon.
- Place the salmon onto a double thick piece of foil.
- Mix the remaining sesame oil and the pickling liquid together and paint generously all over the side of Salmon. Sprinkle with the furikake seasoning .
- Cook the Asparagus and Zucchini first (or at the same time if you have a big Barbecue.) Put in a single layer onto the BBQ and turn as they start to soften and colour. Put back into the bowl and dress with the ginger sesame dressing.
- Put the salmon onto the barbeque in it’s open foil packet . Leave it until the liquid on the surface of the foil starts to simmer and the base of the fish is starting to look opaque. This should take about 10 minutes. Put the lid down and leave for at least 5 minutes before checking again.
- Mine took exactly 10 minutes once the lid was put down ( 20 minutes total) till cooked, with just a nice amount of pink inside.
- Serve the Salmon with the lettuce and vegetables.
The dressing is also great mixed with Kewpie mayonnaise and served with the fish
The ginger pickling water really adds an amazing flavour to the dressing. If you don’t have enough of the ginger water make some by adding 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger to a 1/2 cup of water. Add a squeeze of lemon and a 1/2 teaspoon water and stir well.
This post was proudly supported by Barbeques Galore the home of Ziegler and Brown. You want one too don’t you?