Vitaly Paley’s Grilled Cedar Planked Salmon
Serves 4-6. (Fish should be cut to fit the plank.)
1 2-lb piece wild king salmon, scaled (with skin), preferably from the belly of the fish
2 tbsp kosher salt
¼ cup packed brown sugar
Grated zest of 2 oranges
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small bulb garlic, peeled, separated into cloves, and finely chopped
1 Walla Walla onion, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1. Once deboned, place fish in a large glass baking dish. In a bowl, mix salt, brown sugar, and orange zest, and generously rub into both sides of the salmon. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
2. Preheat a gas grill or get a charcoal grill red-hot. Brush both sides of the cedar plank with 3 tbsp olive oil and spread chopped garlic on one side. Place the salmon on the garlic and cover evenly with chopped basil and onion. (Pile onion on the top and sides of the fish to prevent burning.) Drizzle with the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil.
3. The plank should ignite when you place it on the grill (salmon side up). Let the plank burn all the way around the fish. Once the exposed plank has burned, cover the grill to smother the fire. Grill salmon without turning for 15 minutes until medium rare (or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 130 degrees). Serve immediately.
Chef’s Tip: Untreated cedar shingles purchased at a lumberyard work well as planks.