Spring is in the air, flowers are in bloom, and the kill is on the grill – pretty much any season is the right season for cooking over open flame. The brisk temperatures of this time of year invoke a desire for grilled fresh fish, and here is a spiced-out version – Jerked Cedar-Plank Halibut. Combining fresh halibut, smoked cedar, and jerk seasoning will spark a new love affair with this cherished filet.
When it comes to fish, freshness is paramount, and using frozen filets should be a last resort. The halibut will be simply seasoned with salt, then placed on banana leaves brushed with sesame oil, and topped with the jerk seasoning. Jerk seasoning is a traditional Caribbean spice rub made from Scotch bonnet chiles, allspice, garlic, ginger, coriander, and other spices, most notably known for its bold flavor and rich color. The banana leaves will act as a liner between the cedar plank and halibut filets, and they will add a beautiful contrast in color when plating. Once the grill is heated, the presoaked cedar blank, with properly assembled filets, will be placed on the hottest part of the grill, and smoked for about 10 minutes. This dish is sure to become a favorite so invite friends and family, turn on the ballgame, and welcome in springtime with open arms and open mouth.
Jerked Cedar-Plank Halibut Ingredients
For the jerk spice:
- 8 scallions, white and green parts, cut into 2-inch lengths
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 1 Tbs. ground allspice
- 1 Tbs. ground coriander
- 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
- 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. ground star anise
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper powder
For the halibut:
- 1 cedar plank large enough to accommodate 6 halibut fillets
- 6 banana leaves
- 2 Tbs. sesame oil
- 6 halibut fillets, about 6 oz. each
- Kosher salt
Jerked Cedar-Plank Halibut Directions
- Combine the jerk spice ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Soak the cedar plank in water for 2 to 3 hours and dry well before using. Cut the banana leaves the same size as the halibut fillets; they will be the under liners for the fish. Brush the banana leaves with the sesame oil.
- Heat the grill to high for 10 minutes. Season the halibut fillets with salt and put each one on a banana leaf liner. Spread 1 Tbs. of the jerk spice on top of each halibut fillet before placing it on the cedar plank.
- When the grill is hot, carefully place the cedar plank with the fish on the hottest part. The cedar will begin to smoke. Cook the fish until it is just firm to the touch, about 10 minutes.
- Use a spatula to remove each piece of fish from the plank by lifting from under the banana leaf. Arrange the fish on banana leaves on a platter and carefully remove the hot plank from the grill using tongs. Plunge it in cold water to cool quickly.
Note about grills: Summerset Grills burn hotter than standard grills so it is not recommended to cook with the hood down, and the above recipe has been adjusted for this. However, if using a different manufacturer or charcoal grill, then it would be advised to cover while preheating and cooking. Please reference manufacture’s instructions.
Taken from FineCooking.com