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Rev Up Your Grilled Salmon And Steak With These Bold Flavor Combos

Grilling is one of the most exciting cooking techniques there is as it imparts maximum flavor and enticing aromas, yet preparation is minimal. Grilling is also one of the healthiest ways to prepare your food, with less or even zero fat used and with the excess dripped off. What better way to add character and excitement to your kitchen, than with grilling? All you’ll need is a good cut of meat or even vegetables and fruits, a fiery hot flame, and you’re good to go!

If you’re running out of grill recipe ideas, Chef Mitchie Sison shares two recipes that introduce great flavors to the usual grilled salmon or steak. But before you get started, make sure to follow these three essential pointers to guarantee great grill results:


Temperature is the key. Make sure the food you’re about to grill is at room temperature so that it can cook evenly. Always have your grill surface blazing hot so you can create a beautiful sear and caramelize the food well.


Fat is good. Choose meat cuts and seafood that are rich in fat and are still attached to the bone. The fat provides a lot of flavor plus it leaves your meat tender and juicy. The bone helps control the high heat and protects the meat from drying out. Collagen from the bones also imparts a nice flavor.


Stay away from sweet. Avoid adding too much sugar and any sweet ingredients since these will burn your food surface easily. If needed, brush any sugar-laden ingredient when the food is 3/4 done.



Grilled Salmon with Orange Teriyaki Sauce

Serves 4



1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup mirin 

1/2 cup soy sauce 

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

juice and zest of a fresh orange 

2 200-gram salmon fillets, or any firm fish like seabass or tuna

salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar, mirin, soy sauce, sesame seeds, orange juice and zest to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool.

2. Prepare barbecue grill on medium-high heat. Brush the grill rack with oil. You can also place non-stick aluminum foil on the grill to prevent salmon from sticking.

3. Brush salmon with orange teriyaki glaze and grill. Brush salmon with the glaze every 30 seconds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until just opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side. 

4. Serve salmon with mango-cucumber salsa (recipe below).



1 large mango, peeled, pitted, diced 

1 medium sized cucumber, peeled and diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 

1/4 cup chopped red onion 

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 

2 teaspoons minced seeded green chili 

1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel 

1 garlic clove, minced 

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste


Combine first 8 ingredients of the salsa in a small bowl. Mix in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish with grilled salmon.



Grilled Rib-eye Steak with Cuban Spice Rub

Serves 8



2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons cayenne 

4 rib-eye steaks (about 1 kilo in total), sliced 1 1/2-inches thick

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1. To make the spice rub, mix together all the spices in a small bowl.

2. Let steaks stand at room temperature 1 hour before grilling.

3. Prepare grill for 2-zone heat, or one side of the grill hotter than the other side. For a charcoal grill, you can place coals on 1 side of the grill. For a gas grill, leave 1 or 2 burners off.

4. Rub steaks with olive oil and season with the spice rub. Cook steaks over direct heat, moving to a cooler area if flare-up occurs, until charred, about 4 minutes per side. 

5. Using tongs, hold steaks vertically to sear edges (bone side and fat-cap side) and render some fat, about 2 minutes per side. Grill steaks over indirect heat, turning occasionally, until desired doneness.

6. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with chimichurri sauce (recipe below).



1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, packed

3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, packed

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

6 cloves garlic

1/2 green chili, stemmed

2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


In a food processor, combine parsley, cilantro, oregano, vinegar, garlic, chili, salt and pepper. While pulsing the food processor, drizzle in oil until the mixture becomes a creamy yet slightly coarse sauce. Transfer chimichurri sauce to a bowl and set aside. Serve with Cuban rib-eye steaks.



The featured recipes first appeared in FOOD Magazine, February 2015 issue

Recipes by Mitchie Sison

Photos by Justin de Jesus

Styling by Tina Concepcion Diaz