Cedar Smoked Salmon

4:02 am on 15 December 2009

This is a version of Judith Tabrons, a dish which Martin Bosley brought to Wellington and Al and I used on a Hunger for the Wild show on the Rakaia River down in South Canterbury. You need a BBQ with a lid, otherwise cover the fish with a deep roasting pan to capture the smoke and heat.


  • side of fresh Salmon with pin bones removed.
  • 1½ tablespoons approx of Wasabe paste
  • ½ cup soft brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • large cedar plank; can be purchased from BBQ Factory ($30 for 4 planks)


Put on your Grillslinger BBQ tool belt (see www.grillslinger.com)

Soak a plank in water for 1 hour.

Turn your BBQ on.

Place the salmon onto the plank.

Spread a thin layer of wasabe over the salmon, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the brown sugar over in a nice even layer.

When the BBQ is nice and hot (180°c if you have a thermostat), place the plank of salmon onto the grill plate (as opposed to the flat top plate).

The naked flame will start to burn the plank and release the aromatic smoke which flavours the salmon. Meanwhile the salmon will roast on the plank.

Close the lid and cook for about 15 minutes or until white juices start to appear on the tail end of the salmon. Remove then and the thick part of the salmon should still be a bit rare in the middle. Leave on longer if you like it cooked through completely.

It should be very juicy and succulent.

You can always saw the plank into smaller pieces and cut the salmon into individual portions before seasoning and cooking, if you want a more elegant/sit down dinner result.

I prefer the whole salmon on a platter for all to help themselves to.

Serve with a refreshing crisp citrusy salad.

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