Maple Shellacked Cedar Plank Arctic Char

Cooking on a cedar plank is trendy but, really, I do it because the smell and taste of the fish is incredible.  My house smells like a sauna (from soaking the cedar) and when I grill the plank, the aroma it gives off is beautiful.  The cedar taste infuses the fish and takes this recipe to a new level.  And the combination of cedar, maple and mustard is very unique.

This recipe is super easy –  one that you need to make today! (Actually, tomorrow – you need to soak your plank today)

Feel free to use any oily fish for this recipe.  I make it with char, salmon, cod and halibut.  Serve the fish right on the plank for a beautiful and rustic presentation.

Maple Shellacked Cedar Plank Arctic Char

Servings 6


For the Maple Shellac

  • 3 packed Tbs. of dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. low sodium tamari
  • 2 Tbs. mirin
  • 1 Tbs. whole grain mustard
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. water 
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

For the Fish

  • About 1 ½ ponds of Arctic Char, one or 2 fillets, depending on the size of the fillet or 4 6-oz salmon fillets (best if you can leave the fish at room temp for 30-45 minutes)
  • 1-2 cedar planks soaked overnight or several hours


  • Soak the cedar plank for at lest 2-3 hrs, overnight preferably. 
  • Mix all the Shellac ingredients in a small pot, bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute or so, stirring the whole time, it will thicken.  Remove from heat.  Let cool.  This step can be done well in advance, even the day before.
  • Heat the grill to medium high heat.  
  • Place the fish on the plank, pour the Maple Shellac over the fish, place the plank/fish on the grill. 
  • Turn the heat to medium low and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve on the plank.