Cedar Plank Salmon
(Canadian salmon grill-roasted on aromatic wood)
Cedar planking is a unique way of cooking fish used by countless generations of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Roasting wild salmon on aromatic cedar gives it a rich flavor redolent of the deep woods and crystal clear streams.
- Cedar plank (see notes) -- 1, about 6" x 14"
- Salmon filet -- about 1 1/2 pounds
- Oil -- 1/4 cup
- Fresh herbs, finely chopped (see notes) -- 2 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper -- to season
- Soak the cedar plank in lightly salted water for 2 to 3 hours before you're ready cook. Drain and pat dry.
- While the plank is soaking, mix together the oil, herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the salmon to this marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Prepare your grill. For a charcoal grill, you are ready for grilling when the coals are covered with a fine layer of gray ash. If using a gas grill, set to medium-high.
- Remove the salmon from its marinade and place it on the cedar planks. Set the plank on the grill grate, close the grill cover and roast for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the salmon is just cooked through, but still a little pink in the middle.
- Serve the fish hot off the plank. Goes great with grilled spring onions or asparagus and wild rice pilaf or roasted new potatoes.
Cedar Plank Salmon Variations
- Cedar planks: Cedar planks can be found at most housewares stores, at lumberyards and online. Make sure the wood hasn't been treated with chemicals or preservatives. If your planks aren't too thin, they can be sanded down as they char and used again. The charring actually adds a pleasant smoky flavor.
- Herbs and other seasonings: For flavoring the marinade, try parsley, thyme, oregano, dill, rosemary or a mixture of herbs. For an even stronger flavor of the deep woods, add some crushed juniper berries or chopped fir needles to the marinade. You could also mix together some coarse-ground mustard and maple syrup, honey or brown sugar and use that to top the salmon before roasting.
- Oven roasting: Instead of using a grill, you can roast the salmon in an oven preheated to 400°F.