Corn Husk-Smoked Salmon with Grilled Corn Salsa

June 24, 2016
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

It's summertime, which means All The Things are grilled, lotsa smoke involved, corn and tomatoes everywhere, and chilled rosé. I decided to try using the corn husks for smoking this salmon and it worked perfectly—the smoke is sweet and subtle and to be perfectly honest it smells a little like pot when it hits the grill, so the neighbors might peek over the fence when you make this. —aargersi

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Aargersi lives and cooks many a wonderful thing in Austin, Texas. (She's a four-time contest winner!)
WHAT: Salmon sweetly quick-smoked with corn husks and served over a bright salsa of tomatoes and grilled corn.
HOW: Shuck corn and save the husks, then soak them (and marinate salmon) while the corn grills. Combine the grilled corn with tomatoes and jalapeño for a quick salsa, then grill the soaked corn husks and the salmon together, quick-smoking the fish. Serve over the salsa.
WHY WE LOVE IT: A salsa that hits all the right notes (fresh! smoky! spicy! sharp! sweet!), two ways to use corn (the kernels and the husks), a smart trick for separating the salmon from its skin, and a summery-as-it-gets meal: We're all about it. The smokiness that the corn husks give the fish is subtle, but sweet—and the perfect match for the salsa. —The Editors

  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • 1 pound skin-on salmon fillet
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (1/2 a large lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 minced jalapeño (mine was large and only medium hot—adjust this according to your heat tolerance and love)
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (1/2 a large lime)
  • 1 inch knob of ginger
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
In This Recipe
  1. Get your grill hot. Shuck the corn and soak the husk and silk in water. Grill the corn untiil it's a bit charred all over and then let it cool a bit.
  2. Mix together the lemon juice, marmalade, tamari, and pepper. Construct a leak-proof foil pan out of heavy duty foil and lay the salmon in it, skin side down. Spoon the marinade over the top and put it in the fridge while you make the salsa.
  3. Cut the corn from the cob and put it in a bowl. Add the tomato, green onion, salt, and lime. Peel the ginger and grate it into the bowl. Seed and finely chop the jalapeño, and add that too. Roll the basil into a burrito and chop it, add that, stir, and then put the salsa into the fridge while you cook the fish.
  4. Put the soaked corn husk on the hottest part of your grill, and then put the salmon, still in its foil pan, on the grill as well. Spoon the marinade back over the top and then close the lid. The husks should start smoking pretty quickly. Allow the salmon to smoke and cook until it's cooked through—about 10 minutes on a hot grill, but just peek inside the fillet to check as grill temps vary.
  5. Spoon half the salsa onto 2 plates, then use a spatula to scoop the salmon off of the skin (which will have conveniently stuck to the foil) and place it atop the salsa. Top with the remaining salsa, pour a glass of wine, and eat summer.

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I work in databases by day, but creativity is my outlet. Food - imagining it, making it, sharing it. And art, I come from a family of artists and have been collaging in my garage studio. You can see my work on Etsy in my shop AbbiesGarage