Imagine this: a crisp summer evening, the aroma of woodsmoke and caramelized maple swirling through the air, and on your plate, a glistening salmon fillet, infused with the subtle smokiness of cedar and bursting with flavor. Sounds like a fancy restaurant experience, right? Wrong! With this easy cedar plank salmon recipe, you can create that same magic in your own kitchen, no reservations required.
Now, before you get intimidated by “cedar plank” and envision complicated techniques, let me assure you – this recipe is all about simplicity and maximum flavor. We’ll use a few pantry staples like soy sauce, garlic, and maple syrup to create a marinade that sings, and the cedar plank infuses the salmon with a hint of smoky goodness that takes it over the top. So, grab your apron, crank up some upbeat tunes, and let’s get cooking!
Cedar Plank Salmon is one of my family’s favorite dishes to order at a restaurant, so when I saw a special for some wild sockeye salmon at Costco, I scooped up a filet to make at home. This cedar plank salmon recipe uses a simple marinade that I’ve been using for years. It’s basically equal parts soy sauce and pure maple syrup with a little bit of my garlic-shallot puree mixed in.
A Smoky Symphony: The Magic of Cedar Plank Salmon
Cedar plank salmon isn’t just a dish; it’s a culinary journey for your taste buds. The cedar plank, traditionally used by Native Americans for centuries, imparts a unique, smoky flavor to the salmon as it cooks. This, combined with the savory-sweet marinade and the naturally flaky texture of salmon, creates an explosion of taste that’s both familiar and exciting.
Crafting Your Cedar Plank Masterpiece
- The first thing I always do with raw fresh fish is rinse it under cold running water. I know some people get all worked up about this and say you should never rinse fish, but I like to freshen it up so it doesn’t have a fishy smell.
2. Next up, I remove the skin from the fresh salmon. You can certainly make cedar plank salmon with the skin on, but my kids like me to remove it. If cooking with the skin on, place the skin side down on the cedar plank before cooking.
3. After rinsing the fish, I pat it dry and remove the pin bones. I use a needle nose pliers, but you can also use tweezers from your medicine cabinet. Run your hands along the flesh of the fish, and every time you feel a little poke, it’s probably a pin bone!
4. Next up is the marinade. I didn’t have enough soy sauce for a full half cup today, so I winged it with less. Actually, it turned out that it was more than enough marinade for this filet.
5. While the salmon marinates in the refrigerator, you’ll need to soak your cedar planks. Before using them, rinse them under cool running water, then soak them in a clean sink for 30-minutes to 4 hours. I use a little dumbbell weight to keep them submerged. The planks can be reused, and soaked before each use. Clean them with soapy water after using them, rinse well, and allow to air dry each time.
6. Now it’s time to hit the grill! I’ve heated my gas grill to medium-high, which is about 300 F. To season the planks for the first time, place them on the hot side of the grill and close the lid. Every two minutes, turn the plank and heat each side twice. Now, put the marinated cedar plank salmon on the wood, and move to the side of the grill with indirect heat (no flame). You can cook these on a charcoal or gas grill.
7. Depending on the heat of your grill, the salmon will take between 20 minutes to 45 minutes. It’s done when opaque drippings start seeping out of the salmon and the internal temperature is 140 F.
8. Finally, I serve the salmon with a mixed green salad for a light and healthy meal. Everyone loves it!
More Salmon Recipes
- Apricot and Honey Smoked Salmon
- Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon
- Smoked Salmon Dip
- Salmon Sandwich with Spinach and Feta
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Cedar Plank Salmon RecipeRecipe by Jason Hill – CookingSessions.com
- 1 filet of salmon about 4 servings
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon garlic-shallot puree or 1-2 cloves crushed garlic
- Rinse salmon filet with cold running water to remove any residue fishiness.
- Clean sink and plug drain. Fill with cold water and soak wood planks underwater with a weight for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
- Mix soy sauce, maple syrup and garlic in a bowl.
- Remove pin bones from salmon with a needle nose pliers or tweezers. Remove skin from salmon if desired.
- Cut salmon into four serving pieces. Drizzle marinade into a casserole dish and place salmon pieces on top. Drizzle the rest of the marinade over the salmon and coat well.
- Refrigerate salmon for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning over occasionally in marinade.
- Preheat grill to 300 F or medium-high heat. Leave one side of the burners off if using a gas grill.
- Place planks over the fire and turn twice every couple of minutes to season the wood.
- Place marinated salmon on the planks and put the planks on the side of the grill with no direct flames.
- Cook for 20-40 minutes, turning planks occasionally so the fish cooks evenly on all sides.
- Fish is done when the juices are opaque and the internal temperature is 140 F.
- Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with a mixed greens salad.