How To Cook Cedar Plank Salmon
One of the healthiest fishes that you can ever include in your diet is salmon. Wild-caught salmon is undoubtedly better than extensively farmed varieties since the former are not exposed to chemicals like antibiotics, growth enhancers, and supplements that can go deep into the flesh. Wild-caught salmon is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA with proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and nervous and immune system-boosting properties. No wonder a lot of experts actually recommend the inclusion of salmon and other fatty fish in your diet.
Here’s one salmon recipe that is not only very easy to prepare, it is also very nutritious and doesn’t come with very complicated ingredients.
The following are the ingredients that you will need for cooking a sumptuous yet very healthy Cedar Plank Salmon.
- 1 cedar plank measuring about 14 by 6 inches
- 2 salmon fillets for a total of about 1.5 pounds
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
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To prepare this hearty and healthy meal, here are the steps.
- Get a bowl or a shallow pan that is large enough to accommodate the cedar plank.
- Fill the pan or bowl with water just enough to cover the plank and add salt.
- Immerse the cedar plank in the salted water for at least 2 hours.
- Remove the cedar plank from the salted water and drain.
- Carefully remove the skin as well as any visible bones from the salmon.
- Place the salmon fillet under cold running water to help firm up the flesh.
- Pat dry the salmon with paper towels.
- Sprinkle the salmon fillets with generous amounts of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Make sure to cover both sides of the fish.
- Place the salmon fillets on the cedar plank with the recently de-skinned side touching the board.
- Spread Dijon mustard over and around the salmon fillets.
- In a separate bowl, place the brown sugar and use your finger to crumble the sugar to turn into finer granules.
- Sprinkle the crumbled brown sugar over the Dijon mustard layer.
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There are two ways in which you can actually grill your Cedar Plank Salmon. The first one is by indirect grilling, and this is what we will be sharing with you first.
- Heat your griller to medium high.
- Place the cedar plank right on top of the hot grate, at the center. Make sure to place the plank away from direct heat.
- Cover the grill.
- Cook the salmon for about 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked through. You may want to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. What you’re aiming for is an internal temperature of about 135°
- Once done, remove the cedar plank from the grill and transfer onto a platter. Don’t remove the salmon from the cedar plank. It is best served this way.
We mentioned above that there are two ways to grill your salmon on a bed of cedar plank. We already shared the indirect grilling method. Technically it is almost the same with some minor modifications. Here are the steps if you wish to employ the direct grilling method instead.
- Immerse the cedar plank in salted water for a much longer time. Since it will be placed over direct heat, it will tend to burn a lot more quickly.
- Prepare the salmon fillets the same way as above but do not place it on the cedar plank yet. So, you can sprinkle salt and pepper and coat it with the Dijon mustard and crumbled brown sugar and let it rest on a plate.
- Turn your griller to medium high.
- Place the well-soaked cedar plank over the hot grate. Wait about 3 to 4 minutes or until you can smell the distinct scent of smoke.
- Once you smell the smoke from the plank, turn it over, and carefully place the salmon fillets on the plank.
- Cover the grill and cook through. Again, your aim is an internal temperature of 135°
- Make sure to check the plank every minute or so as it can easily catch fire. If the edges of the cedar plank begin to glow, try spraying it with water just to moisten it a bit. Alternatively, you can also move the cedar plank away from direct heat and to a cooler area of your grill just long enough to prevent the plank from catching more heat which can grow into fire.
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The recipe we have shared with you makes for a serving of 4. Each serving will give you about 323 calories with the following nutrients broken down as follows:
- 37 grams of protein
- 10 grams of total fat
- 18 grams of carbohydrates
- 2 grams of saturated fat
- 77 milligrams of cholesterol
- 742 milligrams of sodium
- 13 grams of sugar
You may be a bit apprehensive about the fat content. However, you should know that the fat found in salmon is generally the healthier type. We also mentioned in the beginning that salmon has one of the highest concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), both of which are types of essential fatty acids that our body needs.
As for the cholesterol content, you should know that the normal cholesterol level for a healthy adult who doesn’t have any heart condition is not more than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Additionally, there is a significantly higher proportion of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in salmon than low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. What this essentially means is that, while salmon doesn’t cure your heart disease, it can, nevertheless, contribute to a lower risk of heart diseases.
With this Cedar Plank Salmon, you’re essentially guaranteeing a healthier heart and a fitter body. There will also be lower incidence of inflammatory disorders. Best of all, it is so easy to prepare without complicated ingredients yet is so delicious that you’ll have all of your neighbors salivating in envy.