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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
One look and one taste of this entrée and you know you’ve made a winner. An herb, garlic, and ginger marinade slicks the salmon, making every tender bite a fusion of flavor. This mojo is big, bright, and spiced—a vibrant orange—glow sauce that is deliriously delicious, punctuated with cilantro, and power-surged with habanero chile. If you and your friends can take the heat, use a whole habanero; half is plenty for me.
TO MAKE THE MARINADE: In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, sesame oil, cilantro, garlic, and ginger. Stir well to blend. Add the salmon cubes and toss gently to coat on all sides with the marinade. Cover and set aside at room temperature for up to 45 minutes. (The salmon can be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.) Soak the bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes, then drain.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
TO MAKE THE MOJO: Combine the rice vinegar, cumin, and salt in a measuring cup and stir to dissolve the salt. In a blender, combine the mango, orange juice, and chile; blend until puréed. Blend in the rice vinegar mixture. Taste and add more chile, if desired. Add the cilantro and blend, with a quick on and off, just until mixed through. Transfer to a bowl or sauceboat and set aside.
To assemble the skewers, thread a cube of salmon, followed by a piece of red pepper and green onion, on a skewer. Repeat the process 3 more times. Repeat with the remaining 7 skewers. Season each skewer with a little salt, rotating to season evenly.
When ready to grill, brush the grill grate with vegetable oil. Place the skewers directly over the medium-hot fire. Cover the grill and cook on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn and cover again. Cook about 4 minutes longer, or until the salmon is almost opaque throughout, but still very moist.
To serve, have ready 4 warmed dinner plates. If serving the skewers over rice, arrange some rice in the center of each plate and place 2 skewers on top. Drizzle some of the mojo over the top and around the perimeter of each plate. Serve immediately. Pass the extra mojo at the table.
Suggested wine: Spanish albariÑo or Portuguese alvarinho
This recipe could easily be doubled or tripled for a big backyard party. Serve the skewers accompanied with rice, or a citrus-infused couscous, or on a bed of noodles.
Removing Pin Bones
Run your fingertips along the flesh side of the fillet until you feel the pin bones. Using either clean needle-nose pliers (I keep a pair in the kitchen precisely for this use) or fish tweezers, grasp the end of each bone and pull it straight out and away from the flesh to remove it. If you try to pull them upwards or backwards it tends to tear the flesh
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving and 1 tablespoon of oil to coat the grill.