Flamed salmon

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I am really not sure how well-known the dish flamed salmon is around the world, but flamed fish has belonged to the Finnish cuisine for ages. This is a dish where you cook the fish at a low temperature near the flames of a bonfire, grillfire or any other open fire. Especially salmon is a favoured fish, although all thick fleshy and oily fish can be prepared this very same way.

The traditional way of making flamed salmon is to pin it with wooden pegs to a board and then put it at a suitable distance from a fire. It is a bit laborious to whittle the pegs, then soak both the board and the pegs before use, not to mention that there always is a slight risk of the fish not staying on the pegs but rather ending up in the fire. By using Google image search you can at least find several ways to “hang” your fish to help you avoid such a mishap.

We have found an easy and safe way of doing this at least: a hinged gridiron (a grilling device consisting a handle and two gridirons hinged together so that the food can be trapped between the two). There is a huge variety of different sized hinged gridirons on the market so finding one that suits your needs shouldn’t be too hard. As you can see from the photo on this page our hinged gridiron is just the right size for 1,5 kilos worth of salmon.

We bought our salmon in three pieces: each of them from the thickest part of salmon, which guarantees a better baking result.

I have occasionally eaten flamed salmon and liked it a lot, but this was the first time it occurred to me that I could make it myself as well. It is really worth trying, the fish was just outstanding – I could almost say that it was the best salmon I have ever had! I have made flamed salmon twice already: first as a test meal for me and my husband and then a big meal for seven diners. And soon there’ll be more guests coming, already waiting for this delicacy with their mouths watering.

We served the salmon with early potatoes, sour cream spiced with garlic and dill, and with two different salads: one made of honey melon, spring onions and feta and the other one made of vegetables.

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PORTION: 6-7 persons
TIME TO MAKE: preparation 5 minutes, seasoning 2-3 hours, flaming 1,5 hours

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ kg Norwegian salmon
  • sea salt
  • sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

 

Sprinkle and rub an even but thin layer of sea salt on the fish (not on the skin side). Then sprinkle a thin layer of sugar on it.

Let the fish season for about 2-3 hours in a fridge and after that wipe off all the salt and sugar.

Put a tin foil or foil sheet on to the bottom of the hinged gridiron. Place the salmon on top of it and trap it between the gridirons.

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Make a suitably sized fire and keep it burning steadily through the entire baking process. Not too high flames, not too far or too near the fish. The gridiron is at a suitable distance from the fire when you can keep your hand near the fish for about 10-15 seconds.

Melt the butter and mix it with honey and lemon. Drizzle the fish with the mixture several times during baking.

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Turn the hinged gridiron upside down every 20 minutes so that the salmon will be cooked evenly.

When the surface of the salmon is nicely brown and when you can clearly see (from the thicker side of the fish) that the meat is evenly cooked, the flamed salmon is ready. Keep in mind that the further away from the fire you place the gridiron the more time is required to bake the fish, as much as 2-3 hours if you are not careful.

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