Something special happens when you cook with wood. A rich, smokey flavor gets infused into your fish and vegetables and takes your grilling to the next level. When you don’t have a wood smoker, cooking on top of a cedar plank is the next best option. Soaked for hours before placed on the grill, the plank will first steam and then begin to emit a rich smoke. Salmon is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, making it the perfect fish for this cooking method, as it invites the smoke right in. This Cedar Plank Salmon and Grilled Asparagus recipe is a wonderful, healthy, summer grilling option—simple, easy to prep and clean, yet packed full of nutrients and vitamins. We love the deep red meat of Sockeye salmon, but any other salmon can be used on the plank. Make sure to keep the barbecue closed while cooking so the cedar smoke can work its magic on the fish. Serve with a healthy, light salad to round out your meal. Serves 4.
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)
- 1 Cedar Plank (6″ x 12″, ~1/2″ thick)
- 4 oz fillets of sockeye salmon
- 16 asparagus spears medium
- 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
- Oil spray (Avocado oil if possible)
- 1 pinch coarse sea salt
- 1 garlic (dried)
- 1 garlic (fresh)
- 1 pinch ground chilies
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp Braggs aminos or tamari soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tbsp cracked chilies
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Soak the cedar plank (use something to weight it so it stays submerged) 2 hours before cooking.
- Rinse salmon, pat dry, and place in a shallow baking dish or bowl.
- Puree marinade ingredients in a blender until smooth and pour over salmon, reserving some marinade to drizzle over the finished fish or for the accompanying asparagus.
- Let sit, refrigerated, for up to an hour.
- Wash and dry asparagus and toss in a little oil spray with a pinch of sea salt and dried ground garlic or fresh minced garlic, plus a pinch of ground chilies.
- Dry the plank and lightly oil it (avocado oil or other high smoke point oil)
- Preheat barbecue, place the plank on the grill, and cook on medium temperature for about 10 min, or until the center is almost done. It’s normal for the cedar to smoke a little in the barbecue, this will add flavor to the fish.
- Set the plank aside with the salmon on it (you can keep it in a barely warm oven, wrapped) and put the asparagus on the grill. Grill for a few minutes until spears are just done (still bright green, but with grill marks and a bit crunchy).
- Serve with lemon slices and a drizzle of marinade on both the fish and asparagus.