Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cedar-Planked Salmon Glazed with Maple Syrup, Hoisin, and Mustard

After a lifelong irrational fear of all seafood, I have finally started to incorporate fish into my diet. I started with fish and chips, of course, but have recently moved up to ordering pan fried or baked fish at restaurants. It turns out that I love it, and it makes me sad to think of all those years I wasted refusing to eat it. It has therefore become my mission to make up for lost time; now that I'm comfortable eating fish, this weekend I was finally ready to try cooking it at home.

Jeff and I decided to be brave and barbecue a salmon fillet. We found a recipe for cedar-planked salmon with a hoisin and dijon mustard glaze, and since he's a fanatic, Jeff modified the recipe a bit to include maple syrup (like any good New Brunswicker would).

The fillet went onto the smoking cedar plank, and the lid went onto the charcoal grill.

We were very patient, and didn't peek for 20 minutes.

And, boy, were we rewarded for it.

The salmon was extremely moist and flaky, with a wonderful smoky taste from the cedar plank. The sweet, sharp, and sticky glaze was to-die-for, and its flavours perfectly complemented the the fish without overpowering the taste of it. It was even better than what I've recently enjoyed in restaurants. Cooking at home can be so rewarding.

I'm glad that I've finally learned not only to enjoy fish, but also to cook it myself; I feel as if a whole new aspect of the foodie world has opened up for me. My goal when I decided to try fish was to get to the point where I eat it at least once a week. With a recipe like this, that doesn't seem like very much of a challenge!

Cedar-Planked Salmon with Maple Syrup, Hoisin, and Mustard Glaze: The recipe

Amanda's notes: Add a tablespoon of maple syrup to the Weber recipe if you so desire.
We used a skinless fillet, which didn't seem to affect the suggested cooking time. Jeff seasoned the plank with salt and pepper before adding the fillet.

"Prep time: 10 minutes Grilling time: 15 to 25 minutes

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 large salmon fillet, with skin, 2 to 2-1/2 pounds, about 16 inches long and 3/4 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 untreated cedar plank, about 16 inches by 8 inches, submerged in water for at least 1 hour
1. Prepare a two-zone fire for medium heat (to see how, click here).
2. In a small bowl mix the glaze ingredients.
3. Place the salmon, skin side down, on a large cutting board. Using needle-nose pliers, remove any pin bones from the salmon. Cut the salmon in half lengthwise but do not cut through the skin. Then cut the salmon crosswise to make 6 or 8 servings, but again do not cut through the skin. Brush the glaze evenly over the salmon flesh, brushing some glaze between the individual servings. Season the top evenly with the salt and pepper.
4. Place the soaked plank over direct medium heat and close the lid. After a few minutes, when the plank crackles and smoke begins to escape from the grill, place the salmon, skin side down, in the center of the plank. Close the lid and let the salmon cook until lightly browned on the surface and opaque all the way to the center of the flesh, 15 to 25 minutes. If at any point you see a lot of smoke pouring out of the grill, use a water bottle to extinguish the flames on the wood plank. Moving the plank over indirect heat will also prevent flare-ups, but the cooking time will be longer.
5. Using sturdy tongs or spatulas, carefully remove the salmon and the plank from the grill together and lay it down on a heatproof surface. Serve the salmon on the plank or pick up individual servings by sliding a spatula between the skin and flesh. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 to 8 servings"

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  1. This looks absolutely delicious! I come from an extended fishing family, so I am probably more discerning about buying good fish than most. Unfortunately, this usually means that I'd rather go without than choose substandard fish, therefore I buy it rarely and have very few recipes for cooking fish. Thank you for sharing your glaze recipe; I'm really keen to try it for myself.

  2. I am drooling. Can't wait for an excuse to try this one out!

  3. Hi, Café Chick! Thanks. How interesting; I bet you do have a better perspective. Living in the Canadian Maritimes, we always have access to fresh and local seafood. It's a shame I haven't taken much advantage of it.

    I hope you do try it, Sarah! I was really proud of how it turned out. Yum!

  4. What were the sides? Fiddleheads and rice?

  5. Hey Kris! Yep! Brown rice with sauteed onions and mushrooms, and fiddleheads blanched and sauteed with garlic.

  6. Your salmon looks beautiful! I'll have to try this one-I love how mustard works with salmon.

  7. This looks great & I love the idea of using the plank of cedar for the flavour.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of seafood! :-)

  8. Thanks, Andrea! I really loved it, too.

    Hi, taste traveller! Thanks! I'm long overdue. :)

  9. If you like cedar planks, check out this company