Sesame-Ginger flavours are synonymous with Asian cuisine but they don’t exactly scream BBQ or grilling. I hope that will change with this Cedar Plank Salmon recipe. The fish gets a quick bath in the deep, intense flavours of sesame, ginger, garlic, scallions, rice wine vinegar, & maple syrup before getting slightly smoked on a maple plank on top of the grill. Trust me, it works and it could not be easier.

I tested this recipe versus a Cuban-style marinade and it won hands-down. Don’t get me wrong, the Cuban marinade was delicious and full of bright citrus, mint and garlicky goodness. But the sesame-ginger took the prize in the throwdown. I may post the Cuban marinade at another point in time because it was really good but for now the Asian flavours get the spotlight.

This marinade works really well on all types of fish. Salmon not your thing? Try substituting halibut, trout, or most types of white fish. It also works really well as a teriyaki-style sauce for stir-fries. Try using the mixture to marinade some thinly sliced chicken breast before quickly sautéing it with beautiful fresh veggies! Heaven!

When I first posted some clips of me making these Sesame-Ginger Cedar Plank Salmon fillets on my Instagram stories I got a flood of questions from people asking where to purchase them. So, I did some digging and found a pretty good deal on Amazon where they are sold for less than $2 per board. Click here to purchase. (Full disclosure, this is an Amazon affiliate link and if you purchase I receive a very small commission. This is one way that you can help to support my blogging.)

Sesame-Ginger Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe Paleo Primal Easy BBQ Grilling Summertime Ideas

Note: this recipe is not Whole30 compliant because of the maple syrup. If you are doing a round of Whole30 and want to try this recipe, simply omit the maple syrup and keep everything the same. This recipe is, however, Paleo – so no worries there. Try serving it along with a beautiful salad and some of my Quick-Pickles, which go really well with the salmon.

2 Reasons Why I Love Cedar Planks

  1. As the planks get hot they impart a very subtle smokey perfume. It acts as it’s own flavour and there really is no substitute for it.
  2. The planks make it unbelievably simple to transfer the fish off the grill. It keeps everything in-tact and you can even serve the salmon directly on the planks. I can’t tell you how many times fish has crumbled through the grates of my grill.

2 Reasons Why I Don’t Love Cedar Planks

  1. They have a fairly short shelf life. If you properly soak the planks before grilling, cook over indirect heat and properly wash them, you will probably get 3-4 uses per board before you have to discard them. The boards will inevitably char enough that they will no longer impart their cedar flavour and will likely crumble around the edges.
  2. You won’t get crispy skin! Perhaps the biggest draw-back of cooking with these wooden planks is that the skin of the fish does not make direct contact with the heat and does not get crispy. If you’re not into crispy skin then you’ve got nothing to complain about (except reason #1 above). But if you’re like me, you may wish that you had some crispy skin along with your perfectly cooked salmon.

2 Reasons Why I love the Sesame-Ginger Marinade

  1. It’s easy. Put everything in a bowl, give it a stir and pour it over the fish!
  2. It’s delicious! You’ll probably want to put it on everything!

Give this recipe a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!



Sesame-Ginger Cedar Plank Salmon

Sesame-Ginger Cedar Plank Salmon


for the Sesame-Ginger Salmon:

1lb wild salmon filet (1″ thick)

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 tbsp coconut aminos

1 tsp fresh ginger – grated

1 tsp fresh garlic – grated

1 scallions – thinly sliced (green tops reserved for garnish)

½ jalapeño – thinly sliced (optional)

black and white sesame seeds – for garnish

for the Quick-Pickles:

1 English cucumber – thinly sliced with mandoline (I recommend this Benriner model)

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/2 tbsp sesame oil

1/2 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

1 tsp dried red chili flakes

1 tsp black sesame seeds

1 tsp white sesame seeds



for the Quick Pickles:

  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing bow, toss to coat and let cool in refrigerator 15-30 minutes.

for the Sesame-Ginger Salmon:

  1. Add sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, avocado oil, coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, scallion and jalapeño to a small bowl and stir to combine.
  2. Wash and pat-dry salmon. Add to a zip-top bag set within a bowl. Pour in the marinade, evenly distribute over the fish, squeeze out all of the air in the bag and seal the top. Transfer to refrigerator and let chill one hour.
  3. Meanwhile, soak a cedar plank in water (at least one hour).
  4. Preheat grill to 350F using indirect heat. (Set one side of the grill on high heat and the other side to medium-low)
  5. Lay the marinated salmon skin side down on the cedar plank (make sure none of the fish hangs off the edges). Place the cedar plank onto the medium-low side of the grill, close the lid and cook for approximately 12-15 minutes for medium-rare to medium centre. Try to keep the temperature inside the grill around 350F.
  6. Remove the plank from the grill, garnish the fish with sesame seeds and scallion tops. Serve the Sesame-Ginger Salmon with Quick-Pickles and a fresh salad or side of choice.