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Salmon with Potlatch & Orange Slices - simple - on a plank

Brad @ Lake Hartwell
edited February 2012 in Seafood
We just cooked some Coho Canadian Salmon on a plank with Potlatch Seasoning and Orange Slices - had to be the best salmon we have ever had, (except maybe for some that we caught ourselves in Alaska).

NOTE: don't use Atlantic Salmon - it's pen raised and fed stuff that any self respecting salmon would not eat - Norwegian salmon is Atlantic salmon raised in pens in Norway - also fed junk... don't eat it. Go for Pacific Salmon... you will live just a bit longer for every such meal you eat.


Salmon - from Trader Joe's in this case - we did about a pound - good for two hungry people - or two regular folks and a dog (yes we cook for our dog. ... so you think your dog likes you now... give him some of this and redefine what "Man's best friend" actually means) 
By the way - you could get two nice slices of Salmon on one plank and feed 4 people (and maybe two small dogs)...
Cedar plank - in this case it was from Publix
Olive Oil - in this case I used spray - also from Publix
Blood red Oranges - the color is cool - otherwise it doesn't matter
Potlatch Seasoning - You can buy this stuff from Williams Sonoma or make it yourself - (Mine was given to me - the stuff smelled great - I say order some of the internet) ...It's blasted expensive but it's great!  (Expensive is $9.95 for 3OZ - that's what, $40 per pound? plus tax and shipping)

Home made versions... (I haven't tried this, but the stuff I have smells like cunim... so good luck)
One version:  Combine 2 teaspoons salt; 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin; 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano,crushed; ¼ teaspoon garlic powder; 1/4 teaspoon chili powder; and 1/8 teaspoon white pepper. Makes about 4 teaspoons

Or here's another version - 4 teaspoons kosher salt, 3 teaspoons chili powder, 3 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon dried oregano


Soak the plank - I tossed the plank in the sink - covered with water - weighted it down with a heavy plate - left it for an hour or two
Toss some Potlatch on the Salmon
Half the orange - slice 1/4 in thick slices - cut off the peel - cover the top of the filet with orange slices
Shoot some olive oil on the top of the plank - I have spray - it doesn't matter - this is just to help keep the fish from sticking
Fire the egg up to 400 - just lump coal
Put the plank on the egg for 5 min to warm it up
Toss the fish on the plank, skin side down
Leave it alone --- don't turn it over --- don't open the egg up to look 
Cook till it hits 120 interior temp - should be about 15 to 20 min depending on how thick the fish is... a one inch slice should be around 15 min
Take it off when it hits 120 - it will get to about 130 while you serve it

The Orange keeps the fish from drying - this fish is going to be really juicy.  It looks great too.  Should impress your guests.  If you want to you can leave the peel on the oranges - that looks really good also - you can quarter the orange and then slice it, for little orange triangles ---  That looks cool too!  

I like to eat the orange with the fish - so, I like to take the peal off... My wife wants me to slice the orange, then cut around the peal, but put both on the fish - the theory here being that the peal adds flavor - but you can easily remove the peal and eat the rest.... further research is needed in this area.

Supposedly Potlatch seasoning is a spice rub used in a ceremonial feast held by what Canadians call the First Nation tribes of the Pacific Northwest who have been cooking on cedar and alder planks for centuries- You can make up your own stories to tell your guests. You, know - the Indians up North traded salmon for oranges that were grown by the Seminoles in Florida...

Whatever... The Canadian or Pacific Northwest Natives certainly didn't have oranges - so this is an "ancient" Lake Hartwell feast that's been a tradition since 2012.

If you try this let me know if you don't think this is the best salmon you ever put in your mouth. ...I'm not kidding - I only put seriously good food out here.


  • Mawger
    Mawger Posts: 40

    OMG this sounds so incredibly yummy.  I am such a salmon fan.  I will definately get only Pacific salmon.  Your recipe sounds easy, too.  Thanks for the great directions.


  • Jodie
    Jodie Posts: 2
    We've been cooking Alaskan Coho for the past 10 yrs. We've done it on gas grills and on Webers. We have always used Potlatch from Williams Sonoma. Pricy but well worth it and it's a staple here. We purchased our Lg Egg last summer and couldn't be happier. Our high priced gas has been only used to keep food warm. Nothing comes close to producing the quality of our food like the Egg. Last night it snowed and was 7degrees F outside.
    We did salmon on a plank w potlatch it was fabulous. Left overs for lunch today. Nothing comes close to grilled salmon on a plank in a Egg.
  • fishlessman
    fishlessman Posts: 32,259
    sounds great, will try it once the atlantic salmon season starts, boat goes in the water april 1, but if your saying i should let a fresh wild atlantic salmon go and buy a flash frozen pacific salmon  then i guess i could try a frozen salmon.
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • Maybe until April 1st try Pacific if you can get it...even flash frozen is good (I'm in CO so neither is fresh for me). I really prefer the taste and texture of Pacific to Atlantic and I've had both fresh plenty of times (lived on both ne and nw coasts). It's meatier and has a less oily, fishy taste
  • fishlessman
    fishlessman Posts: 32,259
    when they say fresh atlantic they are mostly farm raised and oily. my preference is landlock atlantic over sea run and ive caught them both, not farm raised. landlocks produce a very mild white meat, not fishy at all. as a side note, check the wild caught pacific salmon packages well, alot is coming from china.
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • Thankfully, from living in the NW for a few years, I have good sources out of Oregon and Alaska, so I know mine is not coming from china, but I have seen it labeled that way in big markets. I've had landlocked salmon in Maine too, and I agree, much more like wild trout than what most think of salmon (the farm raised stuff).
  • The coments I have read indicate that there are no commercially available wild salmon from the Atlantic. If it says Atlantic or Norwegian then it's farm raised, and if it's farm raised the fish has been fed some unnatural foods...
  • fishlessman
    fishlessman Posts: 32,259
    The coments I have read indicate that there are no commercially available wild salmon from the Atlantic. If it says Atlantic or Norwegian then it's farm raised, and if it's farm raised the fish has been fed some unnatural foods...
    that is true. the pacific ones marked product of china are mostly alaskan fish as well. landlocks here are native since the last ice age however, i catch those all spring summer and into the fall, its a  great tasting fish that feeds mostly on smelt, pretty much the same atlantic as the sea runs. i dont eat the farm raised fish, atlantics, catfish, tilapia....
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • stike
    stike Posts: 15,597
    it's not "unnatural foods" they feed farmed fish, so much as a steady diet of antibiotics. 

    if it is the color you are talking about, well.  not so fast.  there's no 'dye' being used.  and we need to not use catch-all words like 'chemicals', too, because chemicals are everywhere.  natural salmon flesh is tinted 'chemically' too. it gets the chemical from the prey it eats.  penned fish get the same chemical in their food, added by man, sure.  but it's not like red dye #2 is dumped in the pen

    i just don't like the idea of the farmed fish for reasons centered on the antibiotics, and for concerns that those fish can escape, introducing disease into the natural population. or, if the fish is engineered to grow much faster, maybe escaped fish competing with the natural population.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fishlessman
    fishlessman Posts: 32,259
    stike, you could add

    there is a growing idea that maine salmon are technically no longer the origional strain and should not be protected under federal guidelines because of farm fish spawning with natives.
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • fishlessman
    fishlessman Posts: 32,259
    i never like these studies, never know who funds them. town i grew up with was going to put a dog track in, lots of billboards about the cruelties to dogs, later found out it was funded by the dog track a few  towns over. wheres the real study, people that dont normally eat fish verse those that eat these contaminated fish, i know, continued studies
    :)) a few years back the fish and game pushed the idea to eat stocked fish, natives had a high mercury contamination, then someone tested the stocked fish, eat the natives
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • I've heard of chemicals such as mercury, as well as unnatural levels of harmful fatty acids... But then who really knows, you hear one day that x is bad, then later x is good.

    I like grass fed beef. Prefer harmone free milk... Etc. If it stands a reasonable chance of being better for you then I will try it. I'm not extreme about it though.

    When it's all said and done we will likely find that toothpaste is killing us all.
  • fishlessman
    fishlessman Posts: 32,259
    are we saying that china produced alaska caught pacific salmon is A-OK, have not seen a study about that, no study, it must be ok
    :)) brad, just joking, will try your recipe with the stuff i catch, it costs more to catch it than to buy it but thats what i do
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • Just peel the lead paint off before eating :-)

    That's what happens to us... You catch a bunch of fish, then you start experimenting with how to cook it different ways... Hope you like this one.
  • eggo
    eggo Posts: 492
    Got a chance to do some Salmon fishing in Traverse Bay (Lake Michigan) and caught a 15lb coho salmon. I can say it did taste every bit as good as some Alaskan salmon I have eaten. But that was cooked in a showtime rotisserie BBQ. Now that I have the lge, I am going to try some on a plank. The fear of messing up on good salmon is on my mind.
    Eggo in N. MS
  • If you like a bit of smoky flavor - a plank is probably safer that just cooking salmon on a grate, since the plank makes it less likely that you will overcook the fire side of your fish.

    The plank also makes it easy to get the fish in and out of the grill.  (I have broken up some nice looking fish trying to use a big grill spatula to peal it off the grate) 

    It also looks great to bring in your salmon into the kitchen on a nicely charred plank...

    I still cook on the grate - and I especially like the disposable aluminum grate covers for fish, if I want to do some blackened Talipia (hope I spelled that right - spell check just offers Taliban)
  • Hey eggo, let us know how that planked Michigan salmon tastes...
  • SteveWPBFL
    SteveWPBFL Posts: 1,327
    WOW! and here I sit with two planks of farmed Steelhead Salmon smoking away at 250F dome on my large BGE!
  • eggo
    eggo Posts: 492
    @Brad @ Lake Hartwell. Planning on one day next week. Will let everybody know, maybe with pics.
    Oh, it will be my first planking.
    Eggo in N. MS
  • @SteveWPBFL ... How was it?  

    @eggo too, let us know how it goes.
  • I have done cedar and alder, I have heard of maple planks.  Does anyone know of other woods used for planks?

  • SteveWPBFL
    SteveWPBFL Posts: 1,327
    edited March 2012
    I used cedar planks but was distracted yesterday and let this cook (Costco farm steelhead) get away from me. The salmon was boring, partly because it was not brined and did not have enough rub on it. Also, the skin didn't want to peel so had to peel it half way through the cook. All that and let the dome temp get up to 300F for a while early, which accelerated what was supposed to be a slow smoke. Maybe it'll be better cold out of the fridge today. To assuage my blues about this cook I will consider a 'rebound cook' today!
  • You might have to go so far as to cook something soaked in beer... That's good for a rebound!
  • Steve, your comment reminded me of a brisket accident. Some friends distracted us for about six hours. My egg ran up to 500+. My wife still kids me about the "meteor brisket". (it did look like a meteor).