We first enjoyed this grilled cedar plank salmon while visiting our good friends Michele and Ash at Paley’s Place in Portland, Oregon. If you have the chance to visit Portland, I highly recommend this restaurant. It’s located in a historic home, and the food is just spectacular.
Their famous salmon is as beautiful as it is delicious, and chef Vitaly Paley is a true master of his craft.
I was so excited to get the recipe on his website, which we ended up making for Christmas dinner, along with a nice prime rib, some Swedish beets and creamed spinach. Everyone was so happy, and the dish turned out perfectly!
When you place the plank on the grill, it should ignite. If not, add a few drops of oil on the burner and let the plank burn all the way around the fish.
To make Paley’s Cedar Plank Salmon, you’ll need a gas grill or charcoal grill. However, there is an adaptation for the oven if it’s too cold outside, or you don’t have a grill.
What you’ll need to do is preheat your oven to about 450 F. Next, brush the cedar plank with olive oil and put it in the oven until your kitchen “smells like a hot sauna,” about 30 minutes. Once that happens, follow the instructions beginning with Step 5.
Update: I was saddened to learn that Paley’s Place has permanently shut down due to COVID. I was so sad to hear this, but did find out that Chef Vitaly is now sharing his gifts on Instagram Live at 5 p.m. every Friday. You can view the archives here.
Paley’s Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon
- 1 large food grade cedar plank
- 2 pounds salmon bones removed with tweezer or small pliers
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 oranges (zest only)
- 1 bulb garlic
- 1 large sweet Maui or Walla Walla onion
- 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Mix the salt, brown sugar and orange zest.
- Place the salmon in a large glass casserole dish. Cover the fish generously with the rub on both sides. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat your gas grill to about 450 F.
- Brush the cedar plank on both sides with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
- Spread the chopped garlic on the plank, the same size as your salmon fillet. Place the salmon on the garlic, and cover evenly with the chopped basil, onion slices and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil.
- Place the plank on the grill. It should ignite. If not, add a few drops of oil onto the burners or coals. Let the plank burn all the way around the fish. Once most of the exposed plank has burned, close the grill. The fire should go out.
- Cook salmon without turning about 15 minutes. When done, it should reach 130°F on a thermometer inserted in the thickest part. Serve immediately.