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Teriyaki Salmon (on a cedar plank)

I was looking through some older entries on our blog this weekend and I realised that I had never blogged a Teriyaki salmon recipe. It was a perfect opportunity to try something new as our dear friend Matt was in town from the UK and frankly, there’s nothing better than catching up with a home cooked meal over a few glasses of wine.

Now you have to also understand Matt. He’s a lawyer by training and trainer by profession and lets just say he doesn’t hold back on opinion. That makes cooking for someone like him a bit of a  challenge as the meal has to be good. And if truth be told, the big green asian egg didn’t disappoint last night nor did Heather’s strawberry custard flan.

For the Teriyaki marinade/finishing sauce you’ll need:

  1. 1/2 cup light soy sauce

  2. 1/4 cup mirin

  3. 2 tablespoons sugar

  4. 2 tablespoons peanut oil

  5. 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  6. 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  7. 1 tablespoon minced ginger

  8. 1 tablespoon minced green onion bottoms

Combine the above in a handmixer or a blender and pulse on low speed for about a minute, basically until everything combines well. Reserve half of the marinade for a finishing sauce you’ll prepare later on. Place three pieces of salmon in a shallow glass dish and pour the marinade over the salmon. Now flip the salmon so that the skin is facing upwards, put a lid on the dish and pop it back into the fridge for a few hours. In the meantime, place a cedar plank in the sink full of cold water and let it soak for about four hours.

Your grill should be set for a medium high heat (say around 400 F) and set up for direct heat. Take your cedar plank out and dry it off then pour about a tablespoon of olive oil over the plank and smear an even coat across the plank. Season with coarse salt and pepper and put it on the grid. Close the lid and let the plank warm up for about two minutes.

Once ready, place your salmon directly onto the plank and take the leftover marinade that you had in the glass dish and drizzle the salmon. Close the lid and let let the salmon cook for about 15 minutes to a maximum of 20 minutes (if the salmon is particularly thick.) When the timer pings, carefully remove the plank from the grid with a wide spatula and let the salmon rest right on the plank. You’ll hear the cedar crackle and pop for while still and the smell is incredible! While the salmon rests for about 5 minutes you should take the reserve marinade and bring it to a simmer, reducing it to about half and until it thickens. Plate your salmon and drizzle the thickened finishing sauce on top.

We served our salmon with a Mediterranean couscous and a simple rocked salad followed by a strawberry custard flan. A bit of an eclectic meal but yummy beyond belief.

In true Matt Dean style, this is what he had to say:

Matt’s verdict

“As someone who hasn’t eaten meat for much of my life, I have eaten many, many salmon steaks.  Frequently they are bland, sometimes dry and flaky, sometimes blackened on the outside but a soft, uncooked pink on the inside.  Last night’s offering was absolutely perfectly cooked throughout. And deliciously moist, properly infused with the teriyaki flavour. How could Mr Matla judge the moment to take them out? How were all of the steaks perfectly cooked despite their different thicknesses. Either he is a genius or (more likely) this big green egg is as good as he says it is. My only tiny, weeny question: could we have had a little bit of that teriyaki stickiness I’ve experienced before? Perhaps I’m asking for too much – how could that form on a soaked cedar board?

Heather’s cous cous with creamy feta cheese was a perfect accompaniment and certainly something I will be trying to replicate at home.”  

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Overall Heather Rating: 9/10 & Overall Matt Rating: 10/10

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