Warm grilled salmon topped with a punchy Thai-inspired cucumber salad makes a refreshing and light main course. The dressing, made from fresh lime juice, garlic, fish sauce, and sugar, has that classic sweet-sour-salty Thai flavor; use it as a sauce to spoon liberally around the fish.
- For the Salad:
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, from 2-3 limes
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Kosher salt
- 1 large English cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
- For the Salmon:
- 4 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
- Vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine garlic, lime juice, oil, fish sauce, coriander, and sugar in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Season with salt and set aside. Combine cucumbers and basil in a large bowl and set aside in refrigerator.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
Rub salmon fillets lightly with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Place fillets skin side down on grill and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes (resist the urge to peek or flip early; when fillets are nicely seared on the first side, they should release easily). Flip the fillets over and continue grilling until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of filet registers 125°F for medium rare or 130°F for medium, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a large plate and tent with foil. Allow to rest for five minutes.
Meanwhile, toss cucumber and basil with half of dressing. Remove the skin from the salmon if desired. Spoon salad on top and drizzle remaining dressing on and around salmon. Serve immediately.