Grilling fish on a cedar plank is always a delight – you get a delightfully warm smoked taste, the fish is tender and juicy, and it takes away the stress of having fish stick to the grill grates and making a mess.
I especially love this recipe because of the extra flavors of the season: hard apple cider and ginger, along with some garlic and green onion (scallions).
I used a local hard cider from Bantam Cider Company in Somerville, MA. They have a delicious hard cider called “The Americain,” which features some really warm spices like green cardamom, coriander, clove, cinnamon, and rose petals. It’s spiced perfectly to match the smoke from the cedar plank.
As far as the fish goes, I used steelhead, which is a trout technically but looks more like salmon than traditional freshwater trout we often eat. Salmon would work just as well; steelhead just caught my eye when I was at the supermarket.
It’s simple food but delicious and elegant; you can eat it during the week and feel like you’re treating yourself, and you can proudly serve it for company. A grilled vegetable or simple green salad with some rice pilaf is a perfect match.
Enjoy and happy fall!
Hard Cider Steelhead on a Cedar Plank
- 1 food-safe cedar plank (usually near the grilling supplies or in the seafood dept)
- 2lb steelhead or salmon fillet
- 1, 12 oz can of hard apple cider, such as Bantam Cider’s Americain
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- few grinds of fresh black pepper
1. Soak the cedar plank in water for at least one hour.
2. Marinate the fish. In a shallow glass baking dish, lay the fish and season with the salt and some fresh cracked pepper. Whisk the ginger, scallions, garlic, and cider together and gently pour over the fish. Marinate in the fridge for one hour.
3. Light the grill and get a medium low heat. Place the cedar plank on the grill and let one side get a bit of color. Flip the cedar plank over, lay the fish on the plank and cover the grill with the vent open, cooking to your desired doneness. For a medium rare fish, 10-12 minutes was sufficient for the 2lb fish on my 18 inch Weber charcoal grill. However, cooking time depends greatly on the temperature of your grill and how far the fish is from the heat source.