Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cedar Planking

The aroma of cedar is well known and loved, and its uses are many. One of the most famous and delicious dishes of the Pacific Northwest is cedar planked salmon. Fillets of salmon are laid on soaked planks of wood and grilled over an open fire. The wood not only imparts a rich smokiness, but also protects the delicate fish from direct heat.

In Japan, they have their own traditions of using cedar to impart flavor into food and drink. Their natural resources are less abundant, so their traditions are more frugal. Thin slats of cedar are wrapped around marinated seafood, sometimes accompanied by mushrooms or vegetables, and baked or roasted to impart the flavor of the cedar into the individual parcels. This technique, being smaller, also imparts much less smoke, and more of the wood.

Although the tradition of the indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest is a delicious and effective way of feeding a large group of people, if you're having a smaller gathering, the Japanese technique is an effective way of serving individual portions without using a lot of wood or charcoal.

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