Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Cedar Plank Salmon

Living on the West Coast it seems everyone has got a cedar plank salmon recipe. Well so do I! I go for the simple things that showcase the flavours. Well, also because I don't want to spend ALL day in the kitchen prepping food. I feel that the key thing with smoking is to enhance the taste. I have had experiences were I feel like I am eating a piece of dry wood and that just isn't what I'm ever after. Along that vein--the new chardonnay's are being made with way less oak and they are fantastic! It's worth trying them again if you gave up on them. I had the opportunity to purchase some "White Spring Salmon" to use with this preparation and I HIGHLY recommend you try it if you get a chance. It is fairly rare I understand. The taste is not as overpowering as some salmon can be and works beautifully with the cedar.


2 12-14 x 5-6 inch cedar planks
1/3 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
1 11/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2+ pounds of salmon (I had 4 pieces about 2.5 pounds, 2 on each plank)


1.  You will need to soak the cedar planks for an hour minimum in warm water. Longer is better if you have the time. If you soak them in your sink remember to clean it first.

2.  Combine all ingredients (olive oil, rive vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions, ginger) in a shallow dish. Put the salmon into the marinade and coat. Let sit for at least 15 minutes but an hour is better. Turn fish half way through time to make sure they are coated.

3.  Time to get the grill going. Preheat your BBQ for medium heat.

4.  When the grill is up to temperature, about 400, place the cedar planks on the grate. When they start to smoke and crackle a little they are ready.

5.  Now place the salmon skin side down on the planks. Discard the marinade because now we can't use it. Close the lid to contain the smoke. Depending on the thickness of the fish and temperature you keep your grill at (a fire flare up will spike the temperature) it will take 15-20 minutes to cook. Please don't overcook! It is ready when it can be flaked with a fork. Remember it will keep cooking even after you remove it from the grill.

NOTE: it the plank catches fire use a water spray bottle to put out the flames.

6.  Plate the fish. The skin will most likely stick to the plank so don't worry about that.

The thin portion of the salmon had the texture of a soufflé and we all marveled at it. The smoking combined with the marinade sealed the juices in waiting for your fork to release the flavour. The meatier portion was flaky and tender. There was a light smoked taste, but it was subtle.

I've since made it again with farmed salmon that was nice and fatty and it was just as tasty.

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