Cedar Planked Salmon w/ Soy-Ginger Marinade

A few years ago, this farm-to-table restaurant called Founding Farmers opened next to the IMF (not badass Ethan Hunt, but maid-chaser Dominique Strauss-Kahn). I went there countless times because the menu was so delicious and the drinks were to die for. In fact, I probably brought every out-of-towner to Founding Farmers.

One of my favorite items was the Cedar Planked Salmon. Growing up, I was fairly apathetic  to salmon. My take on salmon was either that it was either an oozing-white over-dried buffet item or a soy-marinated baked fish that my mom made now and then.

Founding Farmer’s version was different. Everything they used there was organic or locally grown, and somehow it made everything taste so much better. So they started with some wild-caught atlantic salmon, marinate it in a maple syrup-apricot glaze, then smoke/grill it on a cedar plank. The cedar flavor infuses the salmon during the cooking process to balance out the sweetness of the glaze. It is so freakishly good.

Because of that inspiration, Jess and I decided to try make it for some guests. They key would be cedar planks and the grilling process that releases its flavors. We got our planks from Amazon (where we get everything). Make sure you get untreated cedar wood, otherwise you’ll be eating chemicals.

So after very-excited receiving our planks in the mail, we ran to the market to pick a few basic ingredients, per the recipe that we found. The recipe we followed is really simple – just soak the planks, create a simple marinade with basic ingredients, marinade, and then grill. You could probably do this in the oven, but the cedar flavors would not be as strong. 

Anyways, here’s the Cedar Planked Salmon recipe that we followed. It a smashing success, and our guests loved it.


  • 3 (12 inch) untreated cedar planks
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 (2 pound) salmon fillets, skin removed


Soak the cedar planks for at least 1 hour in warm water. Soak longer if you have time.

In a shallow dish, stir together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions, ginger, and garlic. Place the salmon fillets in the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 15 minutes, or up to one hour.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat. Place the planks on the grate. The boards are ready when they start to smoke and crackle just a little.

Place the salmon fillets onto the planks and discard the marinade. Cover, and grill for about 20 minutes. Fish is done when you can flake it with a fork. It will continue to cook after you remove it from the grill.

More Photos –

salmon in marinade

salmon grilling