To make this Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon you rub a whole filet of salmon with a blend of brown sugar and garam masala and then grill it on a cedar plank. The plank adds a charred, woodsy flavor and it ensures that the fish doesn’t stick to the grill. It’s a foolproof way to cook fish at home.

Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon on a baking sheet

Why We Love This Recipe For Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon

Using cedar grilling planks is such a brilliantly easy technique. It adds flavor and it makes the whole process of grilling fish, which many people skip for fear of failure, hard to mess up. (My other favorite way to cook salmon that’s impossible to screw up is to bake it in foil.) The planks need to soak for a few hours which means you’ll have to plan ahead, but besides that, this recipe only takes about 20 minutes of active time.

Even though the ingredients, not counting salt and oil, are just fish, brown sugar and garam masala the flavor is complex. That’s thanks in part to the cedar plank itself. It’s also because garam masala, a blend of spices originating from Northern India, packs so much flavor nuance into one little jar.

Recipe Highlights

  • The cedar plank makes grilling a whole side of salmon simple and ensures it won’t stick to the grill.
  • The cedar plank makes cleanup a snap.
  • Great for a spring or summer night when you want to make something special.
  • An easy idea for a dinner party or entertaining

Key Ingredients For This Garam Masala Cedar Planked Salmon

Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Soak cedar grilling planks

Soak the cedar plank in a large rimmed baking sheet of water for 2 to 3 hours, turning once or twice, or according to package instructions. I usually do this in the morning before I start my day. Remove the plank from the water and pat dry with a towel.

Chef’s Tip: Soaking cedar grilling planks prevents them from torching on the grill. I add in an unusual step. I lightly char one side of the plank on the grill. Then I put the fish on that grilled side of the plank. That helps accentuate the toasty, smoky cedar flavor.

Step 2: Season plank and salmon

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the plank on one side to char slightly, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer it to a baking sheet, charred side up (the plank will be hot). Stir together the sugar and garam masala in a small dish, then brush olive oil over the charred side of the plank. Place the salmon skin-side-down on the plank, pulling any pin bones from the salmon with needle nose pliers if necessary. Brush more oil over the fish, sprinkle with salt and pat the brown sugar mixture over the fish.

Step 3: Grill Salmon

Reduce the heat to medium and carefully transfer the plank and salmon to the grill. Cover the grill and cook until the fish is almost opaque all the way through and the sugar mixture is melted and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes for medium well.

FAQs and Expert Tips

Can I make this in advance?

Soaking the cedar planks in water needs to be done in advance, at least 2 hours ahead. I prefer to serve this salmon straight off the grill. That said if you’d like to serve it chilled or at room temperature you could make it up to a day in advance, cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 to 3 days. Enjoy leftovers cold or reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until warmed through.

Can I make this with other types of salmon?

You could use other types of wild or farmed salmon besides wild Sockeye. And instead of using a whole filet you could opt for salmon steaks or individual salmon filets.

Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon

Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon


Description

To make this Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon you rub a whole filet of salmon with a blend of brown sugar and garam masala and then grill it on a cedar plank. The plank adds a charred, woodsy flavor and it ensures that the fish doesn’t stick to the grill. It’s a foolproof way to cook fish at home.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 food-grade cedar plank
  • 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless salmon filet, preferably wild sockeye
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Soak cedar plank in a large rimmed baking sheet of water 2 to 3 hours, turning once or twice, or according to package instructions. Remove plank from the water and pat dry with a towel.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Grill plank on one side to char slightly, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove to a baking sheet, charred side-up. Plank will be hot. Stir sugar and garam masala together in a small dish. Brush about half of the olive oil over the charred side of the plank. Place the salmon skin-side-down on the plank. Pull pinbones from the salmon with needle-nose-pliers if necessary. Brush the remaining oil over the fish. Sprinkle with salt. Pat the brown sugar mixture over the fish.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and carefully transfer the plank and salmon to the grill. Cover the grill, and cook until the fish is almost opaque all the way through and the sugar mixture is melted and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes for medium well.
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cuisine: American