Juicy chunks of grilled salmon on skewers with slices of orange and red onion. Perfect for summer days and backyard bbq’s!
I went through a phase recently where I wanted to cook everything on a stick, and these Grilled Salmon Kebabs have been patiently sitting in line waiting for a story.
If I could grill everyday, I probably would. Actually there’s not much stopping me and definitely not the weather. Southern California blankets me in golden sunlight almost everyday and I. Will. Never. Complain.
I use a gas grill for convenience but stand behind the myth of charcoal being more authentic. Sometimes you just can’t fire up coals for dinner on a school night though and if you get some good grill marks on your food, great flavor will still be there.
How to cook grilled salmon on the barbecue
Fish can be tricky to cook on a grill. There’s been times where I’ve seen it disappear between the grates making me say bad words, or tear apart as I try to flip it over. With these grilled salmon kebabs I cooked them on one side and then flipped them over using a pair of tongs which gave me better control than a spatula.
Firm fish is the way to go, like halibut, sea bass, tuna or salmon. Always make sure your grill is crazy hot which will probably only be in certain spot. That’s the spot where you want to start grilling and once you lay the fish on the grill, leave it. Don’t touch it, don’t try to lift up a corner to peek and don’t press down on it with your spatula.
Don’t touch it (sorry, I won’t say it again) Let it get those dark marks. Grilling meat is a bit different because it has more fat content and that can mean more flare-ups. In that case you’d sear it and then move it to an indirect heat spot to finish cooking.
What’s the best salmon to use?
Any salmon will work but if you really want to put flavor at the top of your list, then I recommend paying a little extra for good quality salmon. I like Sockeye or Copper River Salmon over farmed fish. You can taste the difference and the quality is much higher. Try and use center pieces from the filet as the tail end becomes much thinner. The salmon cubes should be as close to the same size as possible to promote even cooking.
Red onion – Salmon – Orange. Repeat until your skewer is fully loaded.
Serve with a summery potato salad or some cilantro rice.
Grilled Salmon Kebabs
- 1 pound skinless salmon fillet
- 3 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
- 1 lime
- 1 lemon
- 3 large oranges
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 red onion cut into thick wedges
- Cut the salmon into cubes about 1 inch square.
- In a large bowl mix together the thyme, zest of the lime and lemon and zest of 1 orange.
- Add the olive oil to the bowl along with the juice from half of the lime, half of the lemon and juice from one orange.
- Add the salmon to the liquid and toss making sure the salmon is well coated.
- season with salt and pepper and let rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Soak 6 wooden skewers in water to prevent them burning up on the grill too fast.
- Once the salmon has marinaded, cut the other oranges into slices.
- Place a piece of salmon on the skewer followed by a folded slice of orange and a chunk of red onion.
- Follow this method until the skewer is full.
- Repeat until all skewers are used. They don't have to all be exactly the same.
- Preheat your grill to high and grill the salmon kebabs for about 3-4 minutes on one side and then carefully flip them over and grill for a further 3-4 minutes ending with nice charred grill marks for maximum flavor.
- Serve at once with a salad or rice if preferred.