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Barbequed Salmon On A Cedar Plank

By Sophie Dahl

I adore this because it makes a scene. In LA where my aunt used to live, you can buy cedar planks for the barbeque at the grocery store. Here, try buying a plank from a hardware shop. You’ll need a cedar plank about 30 x 15cm/12 x 6in. Cooked this way, the salmon is tender, sweet and smoky; truly a wonder.

You may need to buy forced rhubarb if you are desirous of utter wanton swirls of pink. If you are not, it might be more of a pedestrian green, which is ok too.

  • Serves: 4


  • 1 kg/2lb of tail end salmon with skin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. First of all, and most importantly, soak the plank in cold water for 2 hours. Weight it down so it’s completely submerged.
  2. Rub the salmon with olive oil and salt and pepper. Light the barbeque and, when it’s searing hot, wipe the excess water from the cedar plank and place the salmon on it, skin-side down. Put on the barbeque and close the lid.
  3. The plank will set on fire, but gently – don’t be alarmed, this is meant to happen! It should take 10-15 minutes for this to happen. When the whole plank is slightly ablaze, turn the barbeque off if it’s gas or electric; if it’s a charcoal one, take the plank off very, very carefully with long barbeque tongs.
  4. Put the flaming plank on a big baking tray/cookie sheet. Serve the salmon with some barbequed asparagus, a big salad and some warm new potatoes in olive oil and chives.