Recipe of the week: Cedar plank Pacific Northwest salmon

Recipe of the week: Cedar plank Pacific Northwest salmon

The Pacific Northwest is teeming with all types of salmon, from chinook (also known as king) and coho salmon to the Copper River and sockeye salmon. King is the highest in fat and is known for its silky texture. It takes two days to prepare this dish, due to the brine and air drying of the fish. The salmon is boneless whole and cut into medallions like you would find at the nearby Pike Place market, but without bones. The classic “Salmon Steak Cut” is modeled after the most popular cut at the fish market at Pike Place Market. When ordering in your local market, ask for a “cut of salmon steak”.

Cedar plank Pacific Northwest salmon
Cedar plank Pacific Northwest salmon

The fish is placed in a smoke brine for two hours, then air dried in the cooler overnight. The bones are smoked and reduced to glaze. The cooking technique mirrors the way Native Americans prepared fish – salted, left to sit overnight and roasted over a fire, using wood to infuse the flavor. This technique also resembles one of Mexico’s traditional recipes, “pescado tikin xik”.

This salmon can be served with your favorite sides or with a salad. In our case, we accompanied the salmon with a mix of seasonal vegetables sourced from the Pike Place market and finished with charred lemon juice and olive oil. You can also lay it on a cedar plank. This recipe below is a version of that signature dish and made for the home cook.


Smoke brine (8% brine)

1 gallon of water
10 ounces of salt
2 ounces of sugar
4 quarts of cedar wood chips (flared)
1 lemon zest
2 sprigs of thyme

Salmoriglio (fish sauce)

2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoon fresh oregano
1½ tablespoon of parsley
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tsp lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salmon on cedar plank

7-8 oz salmon fillet
Cedar / wood plank


Smoke brine

Take a gallon of water, add salt, sugar, thyme and lemon zest; reheat it on a stove. While the water is heating, take the wood chips and place them in a pot on high heat or use a torch to burn them. A grill can also be used. Cook the wood chips over high heat until they begin to char or blacken.

Place a coffee filter in a colander. Place the chips in the filter and pour the water over the chips and into another container. Let it cool down. Let portions of salmon sit in the smoke brine for 20 minutes. Let the salmon dry overnight, uncovered in the refrigerator with the skin on top.

Salmon on cedar plank

Preheat the oven to 380 ° F. Take the salmon out of the refrigerator and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before cooking. Cook the salmon on cedar wood at 380F for about 8 minutes and let stand. Finish with Salmoriglio and fresh lemon juice.

Salmoriglio (fish sauce)

Combine all the ingredients and season to taste. Then enjoy with your fish.

Thanks to Chef Emmanuel Calderon of Goldfinch Tavern at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle for the recipe.

If you have a recipe you would like to share with the readers of A Luxury Travel Blog, please contact us.

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