I love the flavor that the cedar imparts to fish ... I have made this recipe with other whole fish, it's very good with trout too. A word on cedar planks - you can buy them from a specialty store for like $11.99 if you want, OR - you can go to Home Depot and purchase UNTREATED cedar fence pickets for about $2.49 and cut them to length, thereby getting a BUNCH of planks for a fraction of the cost. Fish wider than the picket? Just lay 2 side by side on the grill and proceed! - aargersi —aargersi
Test Kitchen Notes
We'd never grilled a fish on cedar before and what a revelation! The cedar wraps the fish in a sweet smokiness without overwhelming the gentle flavor of the sea bass. And if you're ever looking for a dish that'll be a visual showstopper, this is it -- the fish firms up and turns the color of bronze on the grill, making it look frozen in time. Our 2 1/4-pound fish took 26 minutes to cook through. - A&M —The Editors
- Serves 4 (depending on the size of your fish)
cedar plank - fish sized
whole Lup De Mar - scaled and cleaned
large basil leaves
thinly sliced tomato
thinly sliced red onion
thinly sliced lemon
a squirt bottle filled with water (just in case!)
- A few hours ahead of cooking, soak your plank in water - you will have to weight it to hold it under. I do mine in the sink with a heavy pot. Heat your grill to HIGH when you are ready to get started.
- Rinse the fish and pat it dry. Sprinkle the inside with olive oil and kosher salt.
- Line the inside of the fish with the basil leaves, then layer the sliced tomato, onion and lemon. How many slices will depend on the size of the fish.
- Salt the outside of the fish, then tie it up with kitchen twine - roast style. Lay it on the plank.
- Head out to the grill. Make sure it is VERY hot. Lay the plank / fish on the grill and lower the cover. You are going to want to check every couple of minutes JUST in case the plank isn't completely soaked - coals and smoke are GOOD, a flaming plank is BAD. That's where the squirt bottle comes in.
- You might want to squirt the bottom part of the plank a couple times in either case to make it smoke up a bit. The smoke adds a TON of great flavor.
- When the plank is blackened and the fish is toasty brown on the "up" side, you're done! (see photo) Bring it in and cut the twine away. If you are a wimp (like me) remove the head and serve!
- Caution - the fish I cooked did have a lot of bones so I had to pull the meat out carefully. Just depends on your particular fish ...