“Back-Pocket” Salmon Grilled On a Plank

By Marcus Samuelsson |

The standout flavors of this dish—ginger, garlic, soy, and mustard—are ideally suited to salmon. It’s one of those combinations that I like to call a “back-pocket recipe” because once you’ve made it two or three times, you won’t even have to open up the cookbook to prepare it. It will always be in your back pocket as an easy, delicious, go-to dish.

Grilling on a wood plank is fun; it’s like using a steamer and smoker at the same time. But you can use this recipe whether you have a plank or not. Try searing or broiling or—the lightest method of all—steaming. Serve it with Plátanos Mash or End-of-Summer Succotash.

Prep Details

Servings: Serves 4


1 wood plank for grilling, about 6 x 12 inches (see Note)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon chopped peeled ginger

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon more for brushing

1 (2-pound) salmon fillet, skin on

Kosher salt


Photo Credit:  Flickr | Didriks

Photo Credit: Flickr | Didriks

1.     Soak the wood in a pot of water for 1 hour so it won’t catch fire when it goes onto the grill.

2.     Preheat a gas grill to medium.

3.     Stir the dill, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mustard, and 1 tablespoon olive oil together. Rub this mix all over the salmon. Brush the wood generously on one side with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle it with salt. Place the fish skin side down on the oiled side of the plank, then wrap loosely with heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving the back of the plank exposed.

4.     Lay the plank directly on the grate and grill the fish for 15 minutes. Let it rest for 15 minutes before unwrapping and serving.

Note: You can find wood planks for grilling at some kitchenware and big box stores and online. The most common are cedar, but you can also find hickory, maple, and cherry.