Smoky Salmon Skewers are grilled in the traditional Northwest style with a touch of brown sugar and a smoky flavor from the spices.
About Smoky Salmon Skewers
Smoky Salmon Skewers are really an adaption of how the Native American people used to cook their salmon.
Instead of skewers they would use green cedar branches to tie the salmon and slowly cook the fish over open fires.
I think the most interesting preparation for salmon that I’ve ever seen was in Depoe Bay, Oregon.
They have an annual Indian Salmon Bake that draws thousands of people to their beautiful little seaside town, which boasts the world’s smallest navigable harbor.
Originally, Depoe Bay was home to the coastal Salish Indian tribes who were great fishermen.
They would host annual Potlatches, a shared ceremony that involved a feast, gift giving and dancing.
Through the years this feast included salmon which was cooked over burning logs.
Today Depoe Bay still honors the Indian tribes with an annual Depoe Bay Salmon Bake which is held each September.
Before sunrise on the morning of the event an eighty foot trench is filled with six cords of fir, to sustain the heat, and three cords of alder, to add flavor.
It is then ignited to burn throughout the morning.
In the traditional Indian Style, green saplings are used as holding racks for the salmon and is cross braced with strong twigs to hold the salmon securely.
These skewered salmon fillets are then positioned on each side of the 80’ foot trench to slowly roast over the hot, smoky logs.
It’s an amazing sight to see and even more amazing is the taste of that salmon.
Juicy, smoky and slightly crispy.
How to Make Smoky Salmon Skewers
Unfortunately, we missed the Salmon Bake last year but I still wanted to try and capture that taste again.
Well, as much as possible, since I don’t have room for an 80’ barbecue pit and I’m fresh out of alder and fir logs. So you make do.
I had some beautiful salmon in the refrigerator and I had skewers.
Plus, since it was raining, I also had my trusty Griddler.
And to try and duplicate that great outdoor grilled taste I added smoked seasonings.
I cut the salmon into bite sized pieces, coated them with olive oil and rolled them in a brown sugar, smoked paprika and smoked hickory Powder mixture.
Sprinkled salt and pepper over each side and grilled them.
No, it wasn’t traditional and the flavor doesn’t compare to the real McCoy of the Indian Bake, but I have to say it was good.
And so, Smoky Salmon Skewers. Hope you enjoy!
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Smoky Salmon Skewers
- 3/4 Pound Salmon
- 1 Tsp Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Brown sugar
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Tsp Hickory smoke
- 1/2 Tsp Sea salt Himalayan Pink Sea Salt is preferred
- 1/4 Tsp Pepper
- 2 Lemons Thinly sliced
- Preheat Griddler to Grill setting
- Cut salmon into large bite sized pieces. Add olive oil and coat evenly.
- In a shallow mixing bowl add brown sugar, smoked paprika, hickory smoke powder, salt and pepper. Coat salmon with sugar mixture.
- Alternate salmon with lemon slices in Skewers,
- Add salmon Skewers to heated Griddler and close lid. Cook 2-3 minutes.
- Optional: Add 1 Tsp olive oil to 1 Tbsp prepared Pesto and drizzle over salmon.