Author: Sharla Laurin
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest has many benefits, one of them being that we become fine connoisseurs of great seafood from a young age. I remember my dad going out on his fishing boat when I was a kid and always coming home with a bucket or two of mixed bag – snapper, cod, salmon! And mom could cook! I’m carrying on the tradition in a delicious new way.
For this recipe, you’ll need a cedar grilling plank. Cooking on a plank of cedar has been a Northwest tradition for centuries. The fragrant Western Red Cedar imparts a wonderful flavor to your salmon, as the aroma fills your home. The plank must be pre-soaked prior to direct grilling. Soak it in a shallow pan of salted water for 2 hours or more hours prior to grilling.
The next ingredient is a fresh fillet of salmon or steelhead. King and sockeye are exceptional, but chum, coho, and humpie will all make a fantastic meal. If no other cuts are available, Atlantic Salmon too can be used. Rinse the salmon front and back, scraping off any scales, and set it to soak in a bowl of cool salt water for about an hour. Next, chop both a red and a green pepper into slices, 1/8th to 1/4 inches wide and halved. Slice an onion in the same way.
Lay out your salmon fillet, flesh side up, and spread the peppers and onion across it, covering the entire fillet. Get your bottle of Cambodian Black Market Hot Sauce and pour a generous amount over the fish and vegetables. Now we are ready to move the salmon to the soaked grilling plank. Drain the plank and gently transfer the fish to the cedar before laying it on your grill or oven rack.
Cooking on a soaked plank takes a little longer than cooking without one, so allow for a few extra minutes. The wonderful aroma might make you crazy while you wait. Cooking time should be 20-30 minutes, and the salmon should have an internal temperature of 135 when ready. You can also test to see if the salmon is cooked through by gently inserting a knife between the salmon’s layers near the middle. If the layers easily come apart, it’s done. Be careful to not overcook so the fish stays fully moist.
Now get ready to amaze your guests and tastebuds by flopping this fish down on the table, with a bottle of Cambodian Black Market Hot Sauce for extra garnish of course!
photos by Nic Beckman