Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Dave’s Spicy Brown Sugar Rub

Salmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank

Photograph by Jessi Dumais

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon with Dave’s Spicy Brown Sugar Rub

Serves 8-12 depending on size of salmon (enough for 2 salmon sides)

This is Anchorage native David Hansen’s delicious salmon rub for cedar plank grilled salmon.  Last year when I first visited Alaska his family grilled one of their precious fresh-caught red salmon covered in this rub.  We served it with cold sesame noodles (recipe to be posted soon). It was one of the best meals I’ve ever had.  My mother and father both have a strong aversion to salmon, saying it’s too “fishy tasting,” but I think if they could taste this salmon, grilled on a cedar plank, they would be instantly hooked (no pun intended).  I know I was.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 – 1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cedar planks (or 1 very large one), soaked for one hour in water.

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to 350 degrees or medium-high.

Mix dry ingredients and add olive oil bit by bit until it forms a spreadable paste. Divide rub evenly between the two fillets, and let them sit for at least 15 minutes so flavor starts to penetrate the flesh.

Filet on soaked cedar plank with brown sugar rub

Photograph by Jessi Dumais

Set fillets skin-side down on the soaked cedar planks and transfer planks to grill.  Put grill cover down.  Start testing if the salmon is done after about 15 minutes.  If filets are very large or cedar plank is extra thick, the salmon might take up to 25 minutes.  Salmon is done when it is firm to the touch.

Use sharp knife to cut salmon into individual pieces.  Serve immediately.

Note: Cedar planks can be re-used 3-4 times, or until they are completely charred or cracked. Just wash them after each use.

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