The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 06.18.03


Lotus Land Salmon

I recently returned from Lotus Land Vancouver that is. During an annual convention of newspaper folk I took in the sights, sounds and tastes of this Pacific city. I lived some fifteen years on the coast and still carry fond memories of little Asian eateries that I treated as my own

It almost goes without saying that British Columbia is best known for one of its greatest resources, the pacific salmon. Whether barbecued, steamed, baked, or fried, they know how to do it right.

I used to make a regular pilgrimage to the Only fish house on Hastings Street right in the middle of the city's roughest and poorest area as they had the freshest fish around and even better chowder. A hole in the wall with a license that dates back to the early 1900s allowed this establishment to get away with not having a bathroom.

Diners cozy up to a counter, eat quickly and leave; allowing lined-up patrons their coveted spot. Pierre Trudeau was known to have eaten here and people from all walks of life frequent this place. Cell-phone executives next to out-of-luck and homeless society share in the common draw. Halibut and chips, homemade bread and fresh skate cheeks to die for.

Broiled Pacific salmon steaks with salsa butter

The salmon steaks are marinated in salsa, lime juice, mustard, and garlic, imparting a piquant flavor to the fish. Salmon fillets are also suitable for this recipe.

1/2 cup hot tomato salsa
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Four 6-ounce Pacific salmon steaks
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon lime zest, grated
1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For garnish: lime wedges

Set aside two tablespoons of salsa.

In a medium bowl, combine the remaining salsa, lime juice, mustard, and garlic. Coat salmon steaks in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the soft butter with lime zest, cumin, and the two tablespoons of the reserved salsa. Mix well, and set aside.

Preheat broiler on high.

Remove salmon steaks from marinade (discard marinade); season with salt and pepper. Arrange side by side in an oiled ovenproof dish.

Place the salmon under the broiler, four inches from the heat source. Broil three minutes per side, or until the fish just flakes when tested with a fork.


Arrange salmon steaks on warm plates. Spoon a teaspoon of salsa butter on top of each steak. Garnish plates with lime wedges, and a green vegetable (snap peas or green beans). Serves four.