by Nikolai Nikitenko March 15, 2016


SERVES 6 to 8
PREP TIME 20 minutes
COOK TIME 35 minutes

    • 1 whole Alaskan Keta Salmon (dressed), fresh or thawed
    • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    • 1 lime, sliced
    • 2 small stalks lemon grass (2 oz.), light part only, halved lengthwise and bruised (crushed)
    • 6 to 8 slices (2 oz.) long thin slices of peeled fresh ginger
    • 4 to 5 sprigs each fresh mint and cilantro
    • 2 Thai chiles, halved lengthwise
    • 1 large banana leaf (big enough to wrap fish)
    Sesame Snap Peas:
    • 1 Tablespoon olive or canola oil
    • 1 pound snap peas
    • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
    • 1 teaspoon each sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds
    • 1 Tablespoon sweet and sour sauce


    Remove Alaska Keta Salmon from refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking. Heat grill to medium-high heat (400°F). Cut 2 pieces of aluminum foil large enough to wrap around salmon lengthwise. Stack the foil sheets (shiny side down) on a baking sheet; spray top sheet generously with cooking spray.

    Rinse salmon under cold water, thoroughly rinsing belly cavity; pat dry with paper towel. On both sides of the salmon, cut 3 to 4 slits, crosswise, into the skin of salmon, deep enough to almost reach the bone. Brush salmon with oil; sprinkle salt and pepper inside and outside the entire fish. Stuff salmon with layers of lime slices, lemon grass, ginger, mint, cilantro and chiles. Wrap salmon in banana leaf, then place in center of aluminum foil. Bring foil ends up and crimp to close, forming a sealed packet.
    Carefully transfer the foil packet to the center of the preheated grill. Close grill cover and cook for 25 to 35 minutes, cooking just until salmon is opaque throughout. Remove from the grill and let rest a few minutes before serving.

    While salmon is cooking, heat oil in a pan. Stir in snap peas and bell pepper slices; sauté 3-5 minutes, just until peppers soften. Mix together with sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and sweet-sour sauce. Serve vegetables with salmon.

    Cook’s Tips:
    • The banana leaf makes a beautiful presentation, but could be omitted – just wrap salmon in several sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, bring foil ends up and crimp to close (leave room for heat circulation inside), forming a sealed packet.
    • Variation: Roast in an oven preheated to 400°F, cooking 25 to 35 minutes, just until fish is opaque throughout. Be sure to let the salmon rest a few minutes before serving.


    Nikolai Nikitenko
    Nikolai Nikitenko


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