In the Pacific Northwest there is one fish that is King, and that fish is Salmon. Whether you get it at your local Farmer’s Market, the Fisherman’s Terminal in Ballard, from the flying fish guys at Pike Place Market or you catch it yourself, Salmon is best here in the Northwest. Summertime is the perfect time of year for putting our local fishy royalty on the grill. And there isn’t a recipe that is easier than this.
To take it up another notch without complicating things, you can throw the salmon on to a Cedar Plank (you can find these online and in some local grocery stores like Metropolitan Markets, PCC & Thriftway).
Cedar Planking gives the Salmon a rich, delicious smoky flavor and it really could not be simpler. A few tips before you get started:
- Make sure that the wood you are using is Food Safe – a Cedar Shingle from the hardware store is loaded with industry chemicals that can make you very sick
- Soak the Cedar Plank for at least 3 hours in salted water before you plan on using it
- Use fresh Salmon – check out your local fish market, the fresher the better
- Keep the skin on the Salmon, it helps make it easier to remove the Salmon from the plank
Cedar Plank Salmon
This recipe can easily be doubled
- 1 Cedar Plank
- 1 lb Salmon, skin on, cut into fillets
- 1 Orange, cut into round slices, then halved
- 1 Red Onion, cut into round slices, then halved
- 5-6 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper, coarsely ground
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Flake or Chili Threads
Soak your Cedar Plank for at least 3 hours in salted water (Just enough salt in the water so that you can taste it, all it really is there to do is help season the fish during grilling).
Pull the Cedar Plank out of the water soak and lay the Salmon, skin side down, on the plank. Place half a slice of Orange and Red Onion in between each piece of Salmon, followed by a sprig of Rosemary.
Now to season it: Drizzle the Olive Oil over the top, followed by the Black Pepper, Salt and Chili. Set this aside and get your grill ready.
You will be grilling over a medium high heat setting. If you have a gas grill simply turn your dial to Medium-High. For Charcoal, get your coals ready and hold your hand over the center of the flame about 6″ above the actual grill, if you can comfortably leave your hand there for about 7-8 seconds your coals are ready.
Now the simplest part – stick the planks on the grill, put the lid on the grill, wait 20-25 minutes and they are done.
Tip: Do not keep opening up the grill to check on the fish. You will lose all the delicious smoke that has built up in the grill and your fish won’t get that nice smoky flavor.
I like to use the boards to serve the fish, either put them on a platter, baking sheet or piece of foil to prevent the scorched underside from leaving any marks on tabletops. Enjoy!
Images by Kelly Cline ©2010 All Rights Reserved
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