There's no denying that grilled fish is delicious, but it can be tricky to keep it from literally falling through the cracks. Enter wood planks, which both keep the fish in one piece, and infuse it with fabulous flavor. This Smoky Cedar Plank Salmon gets a stint in a bold marinade made with garlic, smoked paprika, mint, and the bright tang of lemon. The result is moist, deliciously savory salmon that'll be the highlight of your next barbecue.
Recipe Tips: Smoked (NOT regular) paprika is essential for achieving the flavor in this marinade. The McCormick and Pereg brands are two that offer kosher-certified smoked paprika; both are certified by the Orthodox Union (OU).
This flavorful marinade is incredibly versatile -- try it with chicken, firm white fish such as halibut, tofu, or vegetables -- with or without the cedar plank. It works well for oven-baked meals as well.
For easier handling and the best flavor infusion, select a cedar plank that is both a little wider and longer than the cut of salmon.
Kosher Note: Although fish is considered pareve, there is mention in the Shulchan Aruch that cooking fish and meat together is considered a sakana, or danger to one's health. Many Orthodox Jews therefore do not cook fish on a meat grill, though there are variations in practice, including:
- Using separate grill grates for meat and fish
- Grilling fish on a meat grill, but only if it is double-wrapped in foil
- Grilling meat and fish on separate areas of the same grill, provided the grill grate is totally clean, and the grill cover is not closed
Talk to a trusted rabbi if you have questions about the acceptability of using cedar planks to cook fish on a meat grill.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled, smashed, and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint, or the contents of 2 mint or chamomile mint tea bags
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea or kosher salt
- 1-1/2 to 2 pounds center-cut salmon, with or without skin
- Place the cedar plank in a shallow baking dish, cover with cool water, and soak for at least 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice. garlic, mint, paprika, and salt. Place the salmon in a deep dish or large zip-top freezer bag. Pour the marinade over the fish, cover or seal, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the salmon skin side down on the cedar plank, discarding any remaining marinade. Place the plank on the grill, lower the grill lid, and grill until the salmon is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Using a large spatula, carefully transfer the plank to a platter. Serve immediately.