6 x 180-200g salmon fillets, wiped dry with paper towel
1–2 cedar grilling planks, depending on size
1½ tbsp (30ml) sesame oil
2 red onions, peeled, ends intact, halved, cut into wedges
½ Chinese cabbage, sliced
400g button mushrooms, halved
3 red chillies, finely chopped,
2 bunches broccolini (optional)
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
½ bunch green onions, sliced
1 cup (250 ml) ponzu
1/3 cup (80ml) mirin
1 tsp (5ml) sesame oil
1. Ensure salmon fillets fit next to each other on the plank, or use 2. Soak plank in water for at least 1 hour.
2. Combine marinade ingredients in a large, shallow non-reactive bowl and add salmon, turning to coat.
3. Pre-heat hot plate side of BBQ on medium with lid closed. Pat plank dry and pre-heat it by placing over indirect heat i.e. on the unlit grill side adjacent to hotplate for 5 minutes.
4. Place silicon mat or baking paper on the hotplate, add 1 tbsp sesame oil and combine onions, cabbage, mushrooms and chillies. Add broccolini alongside and sprinkle with remaining sesame oil. Place salmon, skin-side down, on plank. Close the lid. After 4 minutes, baste salmon with marinade and toss veggies. To extinguish flare-ups, reduce heat and spray with water. However, the plank should smoulder.
5. Close lid and cook for another 4 minutes for salmon to be pink in the middle. Do not turn salmon over on plank.
6. Meanwhile, place remaining marinade in a small saucepan over high heat and reduce until thick, only a couple of minutes.
TO SHARE Using BBQ gloves, put plank on a metal tray and serve directly from it. Scatter salmon with sesame seeds, serve veggies in a warm bowl, scattered with green onions.
Lyndey’s note: Planks can be bought at hardware stores or some supermarkets in the BBQ section. Ensure plank is completely extinguished before you discard it. Submerging the plank a bucket of water is safest. Vegetables can also be stir-fried in wok on BBQ or stove.
Wine match: Being a rich fish, salmon works deliciously with the light-bodied nature of Pinot. What’s more, the sweet spice of the salmon marinade perfectly matches the spicy, savoury layers of clove and black pepper found in cool climate expressions. If you prefer a white, Chardonnay also works, especially one with some age as the fuller texture will match the robust salmon and sesame flavours.