Cedar plank-grilled salmon. So few ingredients. So little fuss. So much magnificence.
Knowing how to make cedar plank-grilled salmon means yes, you can ensure your pricey catch won’t stick to the grill grate or slip through it while while you imbue it with a subtle smokiness. (As the authors of this recipe note, the skin will stick to the plank during grilling, but that’s okay. Just leave it on the plank and revel in the rest of the fish.) This recipe has been updated. Originally published June 20, 2011.–Renee Schettler Rossi
How To Buy Salmon
We know it can be intimidating when confronted by all those terms scribbled on those maddeningly teensy signs alongside fish at the seafood counter. You know, like “Atlantic” and “farmed” and “organic” and so on. But 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.” If you want to take things a little more complicated, know that “King” referring to a mild, idyllic, fatty fat fat variety of salmon and “sockeye” an über-rich, more robustly colored–and flavored–variety. (We’re partial to King. But that’s just us.)
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 or trout)
- 2 tablespoons prepared wasabi (that is wasabi paste from a jar or a tube)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten-free option)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 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.
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