You can find cedar planks at most grocery stores. As the plank heats, the moisture from the plank keeps the food tender and juicy, and the wood imparts a subtle smoky essence. You can also soak the plank in a variety of liquids other than water: wine, cider, beer, or juice, which will help to flavor your food even more.
• 4 each 6- to 8-ounce salmon steaks
• cedar plank
For the marinade: • ¼ cup soy sauce
• 3 teaspoons hoisin sauce • 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 teaspoon ginger, grated • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
• 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
• 3 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds Soak the cedar plank for one to four hours in cold water.
Combine all marinade ingredients, then pour the mixture over the salmon in a Ziploc bag and place in fridge for up to five hours.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place plank in a baking dish with sides. (Very important! Beware of the marinade dripping out into your oven.) Place the salmon fillets, skin side down, onto the plank. Pour any extra marinade over the fish.
Cook until opaque in the center, but still very rare—about eight minutes. Check periodically, as cooking time varies according to fillet thickness.
Eat and enjoy. After dinner, wash the cedar plank for reuse.
To read about Sophie's quest for great grilled food without a grill, click here.