SERVES 6 to 8

Summers in Austin, Texas, are hot, humid, and, oh, so long. One afternoon, deep in the triple-digit days, a frosty package arrived on my front porch: a box of 18-inch-long salmon fillets direct from my friend Cheryl in the forty-ninth state. She’s courageous and spicy—the kind of friend that’s always in your corner. So when I made this recipe the first time, I channeled those qualities, gathered my courage, stood over the grill with commitment, and flipped that giant salmon fillet whole. I encourage you to do the same.


• 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
• 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried ginger
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
• 1 1/2 to 2 pounds salmon fillets


1. Mix the oil, orange juice, ginger, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, and cayenne together in a small bowl to form a paste the consistency of thick salad dressing. This will transform into a gorgeous crust during grilling.

2. Place the salmon in a glass dish, massage the marinade over the salmon, then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat a gas grill on high with the lid closed for about 10 minutes, then place the salmon skin-side down, close the lid, and wait 3 minutes. Check the salmon; the skin should be a little blackened and starting to separate from the pink flesh. Take a deep breath, gather your confidence, slide a grill-safe flipper under the fillet, and flip! Breathe a sigh of relief, close the lid, and wait another 3 minutes.

4. Remove from the grill and eat like a cave person. I like to include a little piece of the crispy skin with each serving.

You know how you could do that?

Replace orange juice with lemon or lime.
Try the spice rub on shrimp or white fish like cod or tilapia.