IMAGINE TASTING SALMON for the first time. “I’d never had it until I came to this country,” said chef Meherwan Irani. “And I immediately loved it.” When he was growing up in India, other types of fish were occasionally served at home, but they were never grilled. He’s making up for it now.
In his third Slow Food Fast recipe, Mr. Irani slathers grilled salmon fillets in a spicy piri piri rub punched up with fresh herbs. Made with smashed chiles, cilantro, garlic, vinegar and a little brown sugar, it’s moist and tacky, so it clings to the fish during cooking.
Over live fire, the seasonings harden and caramelize, forming a spicy-sweet coating that helps keep the salmon tender and succulent. “Salmon can take this rub because its big flavors meet the fish and complement it,” said Mr. Irani. You don’t want to leave the fish on the fire too long. “Don’t cook this past medium,” Mr. Irani advised. “Once the exterior sets on all sides, I pull the fillets from the grill.”
This recipe is in regular rotation at Mr. Irani’s house, especially during the summer months. It’s easy and versatile; any number of side dishes can round out the meal. “I do an Israeli couscous with dried fruits and nuts. Or just plain rice,” he said. “This is also great on a weeknight with a green salad.”
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