Cedar Plank Salmon with Port Reduction

Far and away, this is my favorite way to prepare salmon.

Again, I have to say, what a wonderful fish.  So many varieties coming from so many different regions, and so many ways to prepare.  Salmon is a northern fish, coming from the cold northern waters of Alaska, Scandinavia, and so on.  So it’s no surprise that many of our ‘traditional’ salmon preparations are ‘northern’ oriented.

I believe we should embrace this orientation.  Of course, one region of the US that produces GREAT salmon is the Pacific Northwest.

Cedar plank salmon is a Pacific Northwest trademark.  Smokey, fresh, flavorful, HEALTHY and remarkably easy to make.   I love to serve this with a port reduction, frisee salad and haricot verts (French green beans).

Cedar Plank Salmon with Port Reduction and Frisee Salad

Prep time: 30 min
Inactive cook time:  2 hours
Cook time: 45 min
Makes 4 portions


For Reduction:
1 bottle port wine

For the Salmon:
3 lb Alaskan King Salmon, Loch Duart or another variety wild ‘in season’ salmon, skin and fat removed
1 thin large cedar plank

For the Salad:
2 head yellow frisee, trimmed and washed
1/2 red onion, thin sliced
1/2 lb haricot vert, stems removed
2 sprigs fresh dill, rough chop
juice of 1 lemon
extra olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper


For the reduction:

In a heavy bottom non-reactive sauce pot, reduce the port until slightly thick.  Let cool to room temp and reserve.

For the Salmon:

Soak the plank in cold water for 2 hours prior to grilling.  Bring a grill to high heat.  Lightly oil the top side of the plank and place the plank on the grill.  Oil, salt and pepper the salmon.  When it starts smoking, and the edges are beginning to heavily smolder, place the salmon on the plank and close the grill cover.  Cook covered until salmon is medium in the thickest part (dark pink).  Remove from grill.

For the salad:

Mix everything together in a mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper.

To finish:

Mound the salad on a large serving platter.  Place salmon on top and drizzle the reduction over the salmon.  If you must have carbs with this, I would suggest very good quality bakery fresh French bread.

This is my FAVORITE way of doing salmon.


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