• 3 pounds king salmon fillet
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tomatillo sauce

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos, peeled and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • or 2 small green chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste


  1. Rub the tomatillos with a little oil and roast in a hot oven under a broiler, or directly on the grill until the skins are blistered and beginning to burst. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend to a slightly chunky purée. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and cook the garlic, green onion, and chiles for a couple of minutes without browning. Add the tomatillo purée and cilantro, cook until slightly thickened, and season to taste with salt.
  2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Slice the salmon on the diagonal into 8 equal pieces about 1/2 inch thick (or have it cut at the fish market). Season the slices lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the salmon, starting on the bone side and turning once, until a skewer inserted into the thickest part comes out warm, about 2 minutes per side. Meanwhile, spread the tomatillo sauce on warm plates and place a wedge of the vegetable terrine (if serving) on each. Add the salmon, bone side up, and serve immediately.


Makes 8 servings


Good to know

No, salmon is not a traditional Mexican fish. But it still goes great with a tart, spicy sauce based on Mexican tomatillos. This is equally good with other wild Pacific salmon, including coho, sockeye, and top-quality chum, or "silver-bright." For that matter, it tastes great with [skipwords]California[/skipwords] halibut, mahi-mahi, grouper, or various other fish that really do come from Mexican waters.


Which beer should I drink with this?

Hefeweizen or Pilsner.



1. The sauce also works well as a salsa for tacos, quesadillas, and the like, or just as a dip for tortilla chips. The Summer Vegetable "Napoleon" isn't particularly Latin either, but it looks and tastes great with this dish.



You can cook the salmon by whatever method is most convenient — grilling, broiling, on a stovetop grill, or simply baking it uncovered on a lightly oiled pan in a hot oven. While you're at it, use the same heat source to roast the tomatillos.


The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.




Photo: Girl Interrupted Eating/Flickr