Cedar Planked Salmon with Brown Sugar & Mustard Glaze

Boat Trip – Day 1

image cedar plank salmon I’m writing this blog as I sit on my parents’ boat. Since there is no internet in the little bay we are in (and I want to stay off email anyway – I’m on vacation!) all of my writing for the next two weeks will have to wait to be actually posted until I’m back on dry land with decent internet connection. In the meantime, it also makes this a great time to start this blog that I’ve been wanting to start for awhile but have put off put off put off for one excuse or another. I’m excited to delve into this adventure, both the blog and the boat, and see what happens! So – day 1 on the boat, and day 1 with the blog. Here we go.

So why am I up on my parents’ boat in the middle of nowhere? Today is the 50 year celebration/anniversary of my dad comingup to Desolation Sound, an area in Canada about half way up Vancouver Island. He began coming up to this area as a teenager with his parents and two siblings on a 23 foot boat called the Sea Bird. It was a teal, canvas covered open runabout purchased in 1963. My brother actually still owns the boat and it’s a great reminder of how the boating tradition started in our family. Things have changed a lot since then, with several boat “upgrades” to those with actual staterooms, a galley (kitchen), heads (bathrooms), hot water, generators and water makers. Six other boats, owned by friends, also joined us here in the middle of nowhere, behind a favorite island, for the celebration.

My dad and brother caught an 18 pound salmon a few days earlier, so we had the final slab for dinner (thank you fishing gods!), bbq’d on a cedar plank. Talk about serious water to table cooking – even the plank is local, found at a local abandoned log dump. No Home Depot or William Sonoma ¼ inch plank here. Ours are probably an inch think and we get two burns (one on each side) out of each plank. Salmon on a cedar plank has got to be one of my favorite meals ever. The cedar gives the salmon a gentle smokiness and when combined with a sweet-salty glaze on the fish, it is divine. As you can see, it was inhaled. The last little piece was not there for long.

one bite left

Cedar Plank Salmon with Brown Sugar & Mustard Glaze
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A delicious sweet salty glaze for salmon grilled on a cedar plank. Glaze is also delicious for simply grilled salmon (without the plank).
Recipe type: Dinner, Seafood
  • 1 cedar plank, soaked overnight or at least 8 hours (make sure it’s big enough to hold the salmon filet, small enough to fit on your barbeque)
  • 1 King Salmon Filet, assume ½ lb per person

  • Glaze
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  1. Glaze
    Combine all glaze ingredients in a small pan over medium-low heat. Stir thoroughly and heat until bubbly. Set aside to cool.
  2. Salmon
    If you’re picky like me, remove the pin bones with pin bone remover or clean needle nose pliers. Season salmon with sea salt and pepper.
  3. Place skin side down on soaked cedar plank. Brush salmon with glaze. Place plank on bbq over medium heat, cook with lid closed. After a few minutes the cedar plank will start to smoke – it’s supposed to! But, if you’ve got a big thick piece of fish that will take awhile to cook (approx. 20-30 minutes) then you want to regulate the heat so that the plank does not burn too quickly. It’s ok to have some flames come lick the salmon, but if the whole plank is in flames – you’ve got a problem.
  4. Cook the salmon until it just barely flakes at the thickest part. You still want it moist and barely opaque. (The worst thing you can do to salmon is over cook it.)
  5. Turn off the heat and serve right off the grill.
  6. *if you are not using a cedar plank, grill salmon on a piece of foil with the edges crimped up to form a pan. Cook over medium, approximately 20 minutes depending on thickness. You may wish to add some water or wine around salmon for steam.


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