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Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon

***This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlackBoxSummer #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.***

Crusted with brown sugar and spices then grilled on a wine soaked cedar plank, this garam masala cedar plank salmon is smoky sweet and sure to please.

Crusted with brown sugar and spices then grilled on a wine soaked cedar plank, this garam masala cedar plank salmon is smoky sweet and sure to please.

Crusted with brown sugar and spices then grilled on a wine soaked cedar plank, this garam masala cedar plank salmon is smoky sweet and sure to please.

When it comes to summer I think about sunshine, warm weather, pool parties, and backyard BBQs! Whether at home or at the local park, it’s time to fire up the grill and move the cooking outdoors.

No BBQ is complete without fantastic food and delicious drinks. One of my most favorite recipes for the grill is this garam masala cedar plank salmon. I’ve tweaked the recipe over the years, but the preparation is simple, the flavors are complex, and it involves wine!

You will have to plan ahead with soaking the cedar plank, but it only needs 30 minutes at a minimum. The built in flexibility means you can prep this salmon in advance and enjoy more time with your friends and family and less time in the kitchen.

Crusted with brown sugar and spices then grilled on a wine soaked cedar plank, this garam masala cedar plank salmon is smoky sweet and sure to please.

First things first, you need a cedar plank. I usually find mine in the meat department but I’ve also found them on display where you can purchase grills and grill accessories. These planks come in super handy for creating indirect heat to prevent delicate foods from charring, while infusing the food with subtle smoky flavors.

The planks must be soaked prior to use. Water, cooking stocks, juices, beer, and wine are all good options for imparting flavors into your food, but for this recipe we are using Black Box pinot noir. If you know me well, you know that my first rule of cooking with wine is that you never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t want to drink.

Wine being poured over a cedar plank sitting in water.

Black Box wines not only come up to my standards for wine drinking, but they have won over 50 Gold Medals for quality. They have also been raked by Wine Enthusiast as a Best Buy 29 times with the 2013 Pinot Noir receiving an 85 point rating. (The 2014 that I’m currently using for this recipe has not yet received a rating.)

The wine comes in a 3 liter box which allows you to easily carry the equivalent of 4 – 750ml bottles with you. Just think: how easy it would be if you didn’t have to lug breakable glass bottles to the next tailgate, potluck, or party in the park? Just don’t break any laws by drinking where you shouldn’t and remember to recycle the box and bag when it’s empty.

Black Box Wines Pinot Noir

The wine inside smells and tastes like a $10 – $12 bottle, which gives you about a 40% savings over purchasing by the bottle allowing you to enjoy more fun while spending less money. Additionally, the wine isn’t exposed to air as you pour so it maintains its fresh flavor for up to 6 weeks giving you plenty of time to enjoy it.

For this garam masala cedar plank salmon we are going to use a combination of 1 part Black Box pinot noir to 2 parts water. Black Box’s Pinot Noir has notes of cherry, strawberry, oak and smoke all of which get soaked up into the cedar plank, turned into smoke on the grill, and absorbed by the salmon. My planks are the right size to soak in a 9″ x 13″ pan. I needed 1 1/4 cup of pinot noir and 2 1/2 cups of water to fully cover the planks. Adjust the liquid amounts as necessary.

Planks soaking in 1 part wine and 2 parts water. Planks are in a 9" x 13" pan being held down by a glass measuring cup.

You may need a weight to keep the planks submerged. I like to use the measuring cup filled with water, as I was going to have to wash it out anyway. Let the planks soak for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 4 hours.

Once the planks are soaking prepare the salmon. Place the salmon skin side down on a cutting board. Skin-on salmon is best because if it does happen to stick to the plank, you can easily remove the salmon and leave the stuck on skin behind. Check for any bones and gently pull them out.

In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, garam masala, ginger, salt, and pepper. Garam masala is an Indian spice blend that can typically be found in the spice department. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil on the salmon and rub to evenly coat. Add a thick layer of the spice mixture on top.

Salmon on a cutting board that has been covered in a layer of brown sugar, garam masala, ginger, salt and pepper.

If you are using less than 1 lb of salmon: you can reduce the spice recipe, you can save any leftover spice mixture in an airtight container at room temperature, or you can layer it on twice as thick.

Place the salmon, uncovered, back into the fridge and let it rest. The oil and liquids from the salmon will combine with the brown sugar to make a crust. The salmon needs to sit at least 20 minutes with the spice blend on top. You can let it rest up to 4 hours or so, depending on your needs. I like to prep the salmon in advance when I’m having a BBQ, knowing I can quickly pull it out and get it on the grill when we it’s time to eat.

Sockeye salmon on a cedar plank on the grill.

Heat the grill to medium – about 350 degrees. Remove the plank from the soaking liquid, pat it dry, and rub down the top side with 1 – 2 tsp of olive oil. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the top side. When the grill is ready, place the whole plank on the grill, cover, and let cook. It will take between 12 – 15 minutes for the internal temperature of the salmon to reach 130 degrees. Remove the salmon from the grill and allow to rest on the plank for 5 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise a bit, leaving you with fish cooked medium to medium rare.

To serve, slice the salmon fillet into 4 portions, approximately 4 ounces each. Serve with sides of your choice such as green beans or sweet potato fritters and a glass of Black Box pinot noir.

Crusted with brown sugar and spices then grilled on a wine soaked cedar plank, this garam masala cedar plank salmon is smoky sweet and sure to please.

For more information about Black Box wines and for more great entertaining ideas, visit the Simple Entertaining Social Hub.

Don’t forget to PIN this Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon recipe for later!

Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon

Crusted with brown sugar and spices then grilled on a wine soaked cedar plank, this garam masala cedar plank salmon is smoky sweet and sure to please.

Garam Masala Cedar Plank Salmon

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes

Crusted with brown sugar and spices then grilled on a wine soaked cedar plank, this garam masala cedar plank salmon is smoky sweet and sure to please.

Ingredients

To Soak the Planks:

  • pan large enough to hold the planks
  • 2 parts water, approx: 2 1/2 cups
  • 1 part wine, approx: 1 1/4 cups

For the Salmon:

  • 1 lb salmon fillet, skin on
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

To oil the plank once soaked:

  • 1 - 2 tsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Soak the cedar plank in 1 part pinot noir and 2 parts water. Estimate about 1 1/4 cup of pinot noir to 2 1/2 cups of water adjusting so that the planks are fully submerged. Weight planks down with a glass if needed and allow to soak a minimum of 30 minutes.
  2. Place the salmon skin side down on a cutting board. Check for any bones and gently remove.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, garam masala, ginger, salt, and pepper.
  4. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil on the salmon and rub to evenly coat. Sprinkle on a thick layer of the spice mixture.
  5. Place the salmon, uncovered, back into the fridge and let it rest at least 20 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  6. Heat the grill to medium - about 350 degrees.
  7. Remove the plank from the soaking liquid, pat it dry, and rub down the top side with 1 - 2 tsp of olive oil.
  8. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the top side.
  9. When the grill is ready, place the whole plank on the grill, cover, and let cook for 12 - 15 minutes. The internal temperature of the salmon should reach 130 degrees.
  10. Remove the salmon from the grill and allow to rest on the plank for 5 minutes.
  11. To serve, slice the salmon fillet into 4 portions, approximately 4 ounces each.
  12. Serve with a glass of Black Box pinot noir.

Notes

If you are using less than 1 lb of salmon: you can reduce the spice recipe, you can save any leftover spice mixture in an airtight container at room temperature, or you can layer it on twice as thick.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 369mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 25g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and don't forget to #reneenicoleskitchen

Franke Castle

Sunday 24th of September 2017

Great idea with the wine, made it last night turned out perfect! thanks for sharing.

Renee Gardner

Tuesday 26th of September 2017

Thank you Frank! Glad you enjoyed it!

Kelly

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

This looks much easier than I would have assumed and the perfect summer recipe! #client

Renee Sitavich

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

Thanks for stopping by Kelly! I agree that it's easier than it looks. You can impress a crowd with this one!

Jamie | The Kitchenarium

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

What a delicious looking summer dish. Love how you used the wine to soak the planks.

Renee Sitavich

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

Thank you! I'd love to get my hands on some used wine barrels for some really well soaked planks, but I'd have to start making wine first. Not a bad idea either, come to think of it!

whitney

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

Wow, your salmon looks amazing! It formed a great crust, too! I would have never thought to soak a cedar plank. Will give it a try next time I use one!

Renee Sitavich

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

Thanks!! The crust gets even better if you let it sit for an hour or two in the fridge prior to cooking it. The one in the photos rested for just under 2 hours.

GiGi Eats

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

THIS IS TURNING ME ONNNNN!! Well my taste buds, because they are OBSESSED with salmon!

Renee Sitavich

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

Haha! I love it!! I'm sure you would too!

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