COURTESY MICHAEL MATHES
Seattle chef Tom Douglas held a master class on salmon for culinary students on the Big Island last Wednesday at the Mauna Lani Resort. Douglas provided an overview of wild and farmed salmon and demonstrated cooking techniques, such as stuffed whole salmon.
Seattle chef shares salmon secrets at Big Island class
Seattle's Tom Douglas, a James Beard Award-winning chef known for his mastery of seafood, shared lessons in salmon with culinary students on the Big Island last week.
Ninety students from Honokaa and Hilo high schools, and Hawaii and West Hawaii community colleges, attended last Wednesday's master class at the Mauna Lani Resort, picking up tips from Douglas, chef-owner of Dahlia Lounge, Etta's Seafood Palace Kitchen, Lola and Serious Pie.
The workshop was sponsored by the Hale 'Aina 'Ohana, a nonprofit group that promotes culinary education. Douglas offered this recipe to the students:
Whole Salmon on the Grill
1 whole 4-pound salmon, gutted, rinsed, patted dry
1/2 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1 small bunch fennel or dill
Olive oil and flour, for brushing
» Sweet Fennel Butter:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons chopped fennel (or substitute dill)
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Prepare a grill, with coals lined up for direct heat 5 to 6 inches below grate.
Sprinkle sea salt generously in cavity of fish and over skin. Stuff cavity with onion, lemon and fennel. Tie kitchen string around fish in three or four places. In between string, make deep incisions with your knife through the thickest part of fish on both sides, all the way to the spine (the fish will cook more quickly, and smoke flavor will permeate better).
Lightly dust one side of fish with flour. Brush both sides and the grate with oil. Place salmon on grill, floured side down. Lightly dust other side of fish with flour and brush with oil.
Grill with the lid on and vents open. Maintain heat at 300 to 350 degrees. Turn fish after 20 minutes (slide spatula under fish in several places first, to detach skin from grill).
Continue to grill until fish is just cooked through (125 to 135 degrees internal temperature), 10 to 20 minutes longer. Remove to large platter, cut off string and let rest 10 minutes.
To make butter: Combine ingredients until smooth, using food processor, mixer or by hand. Makes about 1 cup. May be made up to 3 days ahead, but allow to soften before serving.
To serve: Make incision at head end of fish, then peel off skin. Sprinkle sea salt over flesh. Use metal spatula to lift 4 servings from backbone of fish. Turn fish over and lift 4 servings from other side. Top each serving with pat of Sweet Fennel Butter; garnish with lemon wedges and fennel fronds. Serves 8.
Nutritional information unavailable.