April 30th, 2009
Barbecue season is fast approaching. Learned in Brownsmead, Oregon in the mid 1980s, this marinade is easy, versatile, and tastes great:
1 part tamari
1 part cider vinegar
1 part salad oil
Mix ingredients together. Marinate fish for at least an hour. Then it is ready for backyard or oven barbecue. Be careful not to overcook the fish! After marinating the fish, put any marinade left over into an airtight storage container and put it in the refrigerator. It can be reused throughout the barbecue season. Replenish ingredients when necessary by adding more in the same proportions.
Tamari is simply Japanese soy sauce. Kikkoman brand soy sauce will work if you have it. San-J makes an excellent tamari, which is available as an organic product without preservatives added. Tamari is wheat-free soy sauce. Shoyu, which is made from fermented wheat and soy beans, also works as well. We tend to use olive oil as our all-purpose oil. But olive oil will become solid in the refrigerator, which simply means the marinade must come out of the refrigerator ahead of time. You may prefer to choose another light salad oil for that reason. Another type of vinegar can be subtituted. Japanese rice vinegar works very well if you have it. This marinade does not require precise ingredients, so feel free to experiment.
This simple marinade works great with salmon and most other types of fish. It’s perfect for halibut or loins of fresh albacore. (Try barbecuing a loin of fresh albacore prepared this way and you’ll never think of tuna the same way ever again.) Soft fleshed fish, such as salmon, should be inserted into a well-oiled double-sided grill cage to prevent the fish falling apart. (Coleman makes a nice one intended for hamburger patties that you can find in the camping section of most any store that sells outdoor equipment.) For an albacore loin, insert a shish kabob skewer lengthwise through the loin to help it hold together. Turn by “rolling” the loin on the grill. (Don’t forget to oil the grill.)
This marinade also works well for Pacific spot prawns and wild Gulf shrimp. You may want to peel the shrimp before barbecuing, since the shells are hard to peel after cooking on a barbecue. Insert the shrimp into the double-sided grill cage or skewer them to prevent them falling into the barbecue. Be aware that most “prawns” on the market today are farm-raised. The wild varieties taste better and are better for you. Support your commercial fisheries rather than agribusiness-aquaculture conglomerates!