Grilling fish on a cedar plank adds incredible smoky flavor and also means the fish will never stick to the grate. The skin will stick to the plank during grilling, but that’s okay. Just leave it on the plank, and enjoy the rest of the fish. The wasabi and ginger add complexity to this easy-to-prepare dish. Remember that the cedar planks must soak in water overnight before using. You can also use this method with arctic char and trout.–Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat
LC Seafood Counter Scrutiny Note
We know it’s not exactly easy to understand what’s scribbled on those maddeningly teensy signs at the seafood counter. Yet instead of launching into the merits of wild versus farm-raised or deciphering what, if anything, “organic” means when it comes to anything pulled from the sea, we’ll simply state that in the Pacific Northwest, late spring and early summer still constitutes wild salmon season. So all you really need to look for are signs that state “wild” and “Pacific” and “salmon.” (Things get more complicated in terms of signage, with “King” referring to a mild, idyllic, fatty fat fat variety of salmon and “sockeye” an über-rich, more robustly colored–and flavored–variety.)
Special Equipment: Four 1/8-inch-thick cedar planks, 8 to 10 inches long
Cedar Plank-Grilled Salmon Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 40 M
- Serves 4
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the plank
- Four 6- to 8-ounce skin-on salmon fillets (or substitute arctic char
- 2 tablespoons prepared wasabi (that is wasabi paste from a jar or a tube)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
- 1. Soak the cedar planks in water to cover for 12 or so hours.
- 2. Blot the planks dry with paper towels. Soak a new paper towel in olive oil and brush it along one side of each plank.
- 3. Season the salmon with salt to taste and let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
- 4. Mix together the oil, wasabi, sugar, soy sauce, and ginger in a small bowl.
- 5. Using paper towels, wipe off any moisture that accumulates on the surface of the salmon. Place each fillet, skin side down, on the oiled side of a cedar plank and generously brush the top of each fillet with some of the marinade.
- 6. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-hot. Place the planks on the grill, cover, and cook until the salmon fillets begin to split on top, the marinade bubbles, and the salmon is cooked to the desired doneness, about 8 minutes, depending on the thickness. (The planks may smolder a little, but that’s okay.) Let the salmon rest a few minutes before wiggling a metal spatula between the salmon skin and the fillet and easing the fillet portion of the salmon from the skin, which will remain attached to the planks. Serve the salmon immediately.
- 7. Discard the planks after dinner, once they’ve cooled completely.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:
- Grilled Salmon Paprika from Elana's Pantry
- Cedar Planked Grilled Sea Bass from Seduction Meals
- Cedar-Planked Lobster Tails with Corn-Smoked Chile Relish from Leite's Culinaria
- Plank-Roasted Salmon with Rosemary-Mustard Vinaigrette from Leite's Culinaria
Cedar Plank-Grilled Salmon Recipe © 2011 Tadashi Ono | Harris Salat. Photo © 2011 Jun Takagi. All rights reserved.