Grilled Salmon

Technique developed by Donald S. Berman and modified (Cajunized) by Raoul A. Berman

pre-cut Start with either salmon steaks or the thickest cut of filet you can find.
cutintostrips If filets, cut them into wide strips (approximately 1").
halfsteaks This will effectively make '1/2- steaks' which work just fine and usually have fewer bones anyway.
onboard Next, rinse & shake them off and place on a wooden plank that is angled. Coat each side with Kosher salt. The salt absorbs moisture and the angled plank is supposed to drain it away. Place in fridge for 3-4 hours. Yes, that's right, you have to plan ahead with this dish.

3-4 Hours have elapsed
butter1 You'll need cold butter and LOTS of it (organic preferred of course).
slicingbutter Cut into convenient 'pats' approximately 1/8" thick.
butter2 You'll need approximately 2-1/2 pats per side per piece (for example, 3 pieces of fish would require about 15 pats of butter total)
rinsing Rinse the fish, shake off water, and pat dry with paper towels
oiling1 Coat lightly with your favorite oil (a good grade of olive oil is preferred)
oiling2 Rub oil over entire fish - this will help spices to adhere
spices Get a hold of some serious Cajun seasoning. We combine two different ones for the perfect blend (a mix of Pirate's Booty BBQ rub (now called Buccaneer’s Plunder) along with standard Cajun seasoning).
spiceinpan Place the spice mixture in a small-ish pan.
dipped1 Dip and dredge each piece.
dipped2 Pat down spice to ensure it soaks in.
emptygrill Get the grill nice and hot. Lightly coat with oil to help prevent fish from sticking to it. Grill should be just a bit too hot to hold your hand about 3-4 inches above
ongrillwithbutter Place fish on grill and immediately apply butter pats. Start timer for 4 minutes depending on thickness.
grilling1 Spread butter out as it melts. Flip the fish after 4 minutes and apply butter to the other side. Restart timer for another 4 minutes on the second side.


grilling2 Spices will char which further protects the fish from drying. Butter and oil will cause flare ups which help charring if not too fiery. Otherwise sprinkle water to cool the coals down if things get out of hand. When the time comes for Tequila, it may seem counter productive but after the first flare up the coals will cool down and reduce further flame ups from the oil and butter. Depends on how much charring you want.. Be sure to listen to the fish - it will tell you when the time comes to remove it. Honor the fish and it will reward you! A hearty white wine or not-too-huge red is appropriate since the choice depends on the spices used, not just that it is fish being cooked. The object is to clear the palate to prepare it for more fish.
pouring1 Once the second side is cooked, plan on another 1-2 minutes of cooking total (depending on thickness). Use this time to pour Tequila over the fish, being careful to pull the Tequila away when the flames errupt!
pouring3 Try to let it saturate in a little before it causes the flame-up. If you save a little for the end when the flames die down and the coals have become cooler, it is possible to pour some on the fish to get more Tequila flavor without it burning off.
pouring2 This flame will look mighty impressive but should die down quickly (don't worry). Make sure the guests get a chance to see this part since it's so dramatic. And don't burn yourself. If the fish aren't completely falling apart, flip over to flambé the other side too within this 1-2 minute period.


Serve immediately (with fresh bread as a safety precaution in case of bones). Rice pilaf makes a good side dish by the way.