I’m a born and raised Pacific Northwest girl, which means I know at least ten different words for rain (sprinkling, drizzling, spitting, etc.) and I’m also a bit of a snob when it comes to seafood.
Growing up, weekends and summers were spent at my grandparents’ cabin on the Puget Sound where we would dig up clams and set traps for Dungeness crab (the best crab in the world and yes, I will fight you tooth and nail on this fact!). My dad was also an avid fisherman and would come home from fishing trips with whole spring king and coho and steelhead.
One thing I learned from my dad over the years was to treat fish and seafood simply. To let the fresh, delicate flavors shine. When it came to salmon, my dad would usually season it with lemon slices and fresh dill, then put it on the grill until perfectly flaky and tender.
There’s a funny story behind this particular piece of fish. During a recent trip to the grocery store, my fiancé wandered over to the meat counter and the next thing I knew, he was buying a rather pricey filet of freshly-caught salmon. The problem with growing up catching your own seafood is that you end up having a hard time actually paying for seafood! So even though I was caught in a moment of sticker shock and gave the poor guy a bit of a hard time for buying it, I couldn’t be mad at him because the fish was absolutely gorgeous.
I knew this salmon deserved some special attention. The next day I came across these cedar wraps at the store and thought, Ah-ha! These will be perfect!
There is no greater culinary crime than overcooked fish, especially when it comes to a succulent piece of wild salmon. Thankfully, these wraps not only infuse a subtle hint of smoky cedar flavor, they also seal in the moisture to keep the fish melt-in-your-mouth tender. Pair that with a creamy herb mayo and you have a meal that’s impressive enough to serve to dinner guests, but simple enough to prepare on a busy weeknight.
A couple of notes on salmon: Make sure to select wild-caught salmon. Farmed fish is nowhere near as nutrient dense, is often given GMO feed, is chemically dyed, and has negative impacts on the environment. Any type of salmon will work for this recipe. I prefer the fattier belly section of the fish as well as using skin-on fillets as it’s more flavorful and tender. Skinless will work as well though. Frozen salmon can be used, just be sure to thaw it in the fridge overnight before using it. Any other salmon questions? Ask in the comments below!