Recipe of the week: Cedar plank Pacific Northwest salmon


The Pacific Northwest is abundant with all types of salmon, from chinook (also called king) and coho to copper river and sockeye. King is the highest in fat and is known for its silken texture. It takes two days to prepare this dish, due to the brining and letting the fish air dry. The salmon is deboned whole, and cut it in medallions like you will find at neighboring Pike Place Market, but with zero bones. The classic “salmon steak cut” is inspired by the most popular cut at Pike Place Market fish shops. When ordering from your local market, ask for a “salmon steak cut”.

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

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


Smoke brine (8% brine)

1 gal water
10 oz salt
2 oz sugar
4 qtrs cedar wood chips (torched)
1 ea lemon peel
2 ea sprig thyme

Salmoriglio (sauce for fish)

2 tbsps lemon juice
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp fresh oregano
1½ tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
2 ea garlic cloves minced

Cedar plank salmon

7-8 oz salmon filet
Cedar plank/wood


Smoke brine

Take the one gallon of water add salt, sugar, thyme and lemon peel; heat it up on a stovetop. While the water is heating up, take the wood chips and place them in a pan on high temperature or use a torch to burn them. A grill can also be used. Cook the wood chips on high until they start to char or turn black.

Place a coffee filter into a strainer. Place the chips into 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 20min. Let the salmon dry overnight, uncovered in the fridge with the skin on top.

Cedar plank salmon

Pre heat the oven to 380°F. Take the salmon out of the fridge and let it rest at least 15 minutes before baking. Bake the salmon over cedar wood at 380F for around 8 minutes and let it rest. Finish it with Salmoriglio and fresh lemon juice.

Salmoriglio (sauce for fish)

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

Thank you to Chef Emmanuel Calderon from Goldfinch Tavern at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle for the recipe.

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


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