Grilled salmon is one of those dishes that can and should be spectacular but most often mediocre at best. I don’t even order it in restaurants anymore for the fear of being presented with a dried our slab often covered in some kind of sticky sweet substance they call glaze. It is one of those dishes on the menu that you would get if nothing else is making you salivate or if you overate the night before. And why do they always put a piece of wilted steamed broccoli next to it and mark it as “smart choice”, do you have to be on Weight watchers to genuinely enjoy it?
I have had it done great of course, but actually never at a restaurant it always started with a great fresh fish, preferably wild caught and sushi grade. Served almost rare, with just a touch of char on the outside, raw pink and moist on the inside. Seasoned just enough to make the fish dance on your taste buds, flaky and beautiful. I am very much looking forward to trying it in Oregon next week, Pacific North wild salmon is a beautiful fish, and I hear they know how to cook it over there.
I made my own version last weekend and had grand reviews. I was also antsy to try out Date syrup, which was brought to me by a friend on her recent Israel trip. Date syrup is sometimes called Date Honey is a popular sweetener in the Middle East. It is not honey, but rather a form of molasses left over from cooking dates. It has a wonderful floral note and tastes mildly of dates and although very sweet, has a bit of pleasant bitterness to it.
During the last grand clean out of my pantry I found some long unused cedar grilling planks, which I totally forgot I had. It seemed like a good idea to break them out and make the only thing I ever used them for, grilled salmon.
Next time you want to make a grand dinner in 10 minutes, try this….you will not be disappointed.
Cedar grilled Salmon
2 cedar grilling planks
2 large Salmon filets, skin on. Preferably wild caught but most importantly sushi graded and super fresh.
2 tsp of sea salt
2 tsp of date syrup or mild honey
1 lemon sliced
A few springs of dill
Soak the cedar planks in warm water for a 3-4 hours or overnight. Make sure they are fully submerged, you may need to weight them down with something heavy like a can or a brick.
Preheat your grill to a medium. Lay salmon skin side down on each of the cedar planks. Season with salt and drizzle the date syrup or honey on top. Lay lemon slices and dill (do not chop it, it will burn and you will need to remove it before serving) on top. Grilled for 7-10 minutes at a medium heat, so that the cedar planks have a chance to smoke and the fish is still medium rare in the center.
Remove the dill springs and serve immediately right on the grilling wood planks.
Devour and enjoy!