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Cedar-Planked Threadfin

Tonight I revived an old classic and nailed it for a 10/10 this evening! Cedar planked threadfin in a sake based reduction accompanied by a lentil and sweet pea sprout/feta salad. I think the big difference this time was the quality of the fillets. The last time I posted this recipe back in July 2011, I had sub-standard fillets that didn’t cook evenly. This time, they were fresh, flat and perfectly suited for grilling on a plank. So, to save me the time and effort of re-writing the post, here’s the original with a few modifications:


  1. 5 small fillets of threadfin

  2. 1 tsp dark sesame oil

  3. 1/4 tsp white sesame seeds

  4. 1/4 tsp black sesame seeds

  5. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  6. Kosher salt

  7. Freshly ground black pepper

  8. 1/4 cup diced scallions

Sake Sauce: (which works incredibly well on beef – just ask my buddy Brett in Vancouver!!!)

  1. 3 cups shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced – tonight, I used Portobello mushrooms which gave a really nice earthy taste to the sauce!

  2. 2 cups chicken stock

  3. 1 cup sake

  4. 1/2 cup light soy sauce

  5. 1 tbsp minced ginger

  6. 1 tbsp minced garlic

  7. 2 tbsp honey

  8. 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

  9. 1 tbsp cornstarch

  10. 1 tbsp water

Other tools:

  1. Cedar plank for smoking and cooking on

Soak your cedar plank for at least an hour.  As you prep everything else, combine your sesame seeds and sesame oil into a small metal bowl and place it aside.  Keeping it soaking for a while will produce and extraordinary taste as you spoon a bit on top of your fish.

The sake sauce is quite straight forward actually. Combine your mushrooms, stock, sake, soy sauce, ginger and garlic into a saucepan and simmer on low for about 15 minutes.  The initial taste will be super salty but wait, the magic has yet to happen!  Once your timer “bings”, add the rice wine vinegar and the honey stirring in well.  Again, return the sauce to a simmer and let it sit for another 15 minutes. Give it a stir once in a while too!

Combine your cornstarch and water and mix it until its all dissolved and becomes a white milky liquid. Using a whisk, stir in your mixture and don’t stop the stirring’! You’ll soon have a slightly thickened sauce and you’re almost ready for the final bit.

Now, the fish! Place them on a well oiled (olive oil) cedar plank and season  with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Fire up the grill ahead of time and get it to about 450 degrees F.  Place the plank along with the fish on it straight onto the grid for direct heat grilling.  You’ll leave the fish there for 15 minutes or until the fish starts to turn a bit brown on the outside and super crazy tender on the inside.

Spoon  a good heap of mushrooms and sauce over the fish fillets and then add the sesame mixture.  Finally, sprinkle your scallions on top of it all and serve away! Heather’s lentil salad was an amazing compliment to the fish.

All in all, a perfect 10 and a highly advisable dish for any backyard griller!

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Overall Heather Rating: 10/10

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