Rum-Marinated Salmon

Like most Americans, I love to grill. But there is just so many burgers, hot dogs and grilled chicken that I can take. I'm always experimenting with out-of-the-ordinary grilling dishes. Here, in the Rivera household, we enjoy grilled lamb for instance, and grilled seafood. And while experimenting with seafood, we discovered this rum-based marinade. I come from a culture where rum is used copiously, not only with imbibing, but with cooking. So why not a rum marinade for seafood, in this case, salmon? The thing about grilling with spirits is that the alcohol content cooks away with the grilling, and one is left with the flavor of the liquor. For this dish I prefer a dark rum, preferably aƱejo, that is, a rum that is aged over four years. But you can use regular white rum, if desired. Nothing is set in stone where a good, flavorful dish is concerned. 

The other good thing about this recipe is that it's very easy and quick: 15 minutes total. The marinating process itself can be from 5 hours or overnight. But once that's done, it's a snap to make this dish. Also, you can also use the leftover marinade as a baste for grilling chicken or other meat.


1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar or maple syrup
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 drops Tabasco sauce (or hot chili sauce)
4 salmon fillets (about 1 1/2 pounds), with skin left on

1. First, make the marinade: in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, rum, sugar (or maple syrup), garlic, and Tabasco.
2. The day before the grilling, place the salmon in a large zip-lock bag and add the marinade. Then place the the bag in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours or overnight, turning the bag over at least once in the process so the the fillets will be totally infused with the marinade.
3. Next day, place salmon pieces on the grill, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn carefully with a spatula and cook 2-3 minutes more or until desired doneness.
    Note: If you don't have a grill, you can also broil in the oven. Simply place salmon on a broiler pan or aluminum foil and broil on one side only (do not turn) for 5-6 minutes or until done. 
    Yield: 4 servings.

Photo: courtesy of The Grill Boy