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Grilled Cedar-Planked Sockeye

and Alder-Wrapped Mushroom Gremolata

Recipe and photos: Kara Berlin

November 1, 2017

Filleted on the rocking, slippery back deck of our boat - F/V Thunder - just moments after being caught, fortifying pursuit with our own Wild Alaska Sockeye is such a welcome treat, but it’s also so much more than a meal. With tired eyes and cold, stiff hands, we gather-round the galley table, refueling ourselves on gratitude and grace for the moment, the purpose, the bountiful Alaskan waters, the pursuit. Thank you ocean, thank you fish…


…Back on terra firma after the sun-up-to-sun-down-and-then-some commercial fishing season has come to an end, Taran and I bring a small portion of our catch home, sharing our pursuit with the local community of whom we love. This abundance of salmon is one of which we too never tire! The secret: try different recipes, utilize what’s seasonal, draw inspiration from global cuisine. Switch. It. Up. There are so many ways to plate wild salmon, and we are always eager to pull ideas from our customers who have their favorite go-to’s and know-how’s. This particular recipe was inspired by one of our lovely Thunder’s Catch customers, Terry, who shared with me her recipe for a Mushroom Gremolata. I adapted it here, and paired it with my take on one of our favorite rubs, Tom Douglas’ Rub With Love – forever a galley staple on the F/V Thunder.

Stay wild, good friends…and bon appétit! –  KB.


Total Prep-Time: 20 minutes

Total Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 3-4


For the Mushroom Gremolata:

1 lb Mixed Mushrooms (I used ¾ Shitake, ¼ Crimini)

2 T. shallots, minced

2 t. garlic, minced

2 T. fresh Italian parsley, chopped

½ t. fresh rosemary , chopped (+ 2 more whole sprigs in the alder wraps)

½ t. fresh thyme, chopped (+ 2 more whole sprigs in the alder wraps)

3 T. olive oil

3 T. balsamic vinegar

2 t. fresh lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Wildwood Grilling Alder Wraps

For the Salmon Rub:

2 T. brown cane sugar

1 t. smoked paprika

1 t. sea salt

½ t. freshly ground black pepper

1 t. fresh thyme


For the Salmon

1 Whole Fillet of Thunder's Catch Wild Alaskan Sockeye, thawed

1 Wildwood Cedar Plank

Olive oil

1 lemon, cut in half (optional)

Few sprigs of thyme (optional)

Salmon Rub (Above)



For the Alder-Wrapped Mushroom Gremolata:

Make the mushroom gremolata first so you can sit down to enjoy the salmon as soon as it comes off the grill. The gremolata is so bright that I like to make this first (or even a few hours ahead of time) and put it in the fridge to serve chilled.

  1. Place the mushrooms in a bowl. Dress with a glug of olive oil and balsamic vinegar – about 2T oil, 2 T vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Place directly onto the grill on medium heat. Grill for 5 minutes so the edges of the mushrooms start to darken to a crisp and the balsamic vinegar caramelizes. Remove from the grill.

  3. Divide the grilled mushrooms in half and place inside your two, pre-soaked Wildwood Alder Wraps. Add 1 sprig of rosemary, and 1 of thyme to each wrap. Roll up, and tie with string. Place back onto the grill for 5-10 minutes, enough for the alder to become aromatic with the mushrooms. Remove from grill.

  4. On medium heat with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, sweat the minced garlic and shallots so they soften and become fragrant (about 5 minutes).

  5. Meanwhile - while the garlic and shallots are sweating - chop the fresh thyme, parsley, and rosemary. Then, untie the alder-wraps, and thinly slice the mushrooms.

  6. Remove the garlic and shallots from heat.

  7. Place the sliced mushrooms, garlic and shallots, and fresh herbs in a medium bowl. Add fresh lemon juice and balsamic vinegar, and gently toss to mix.

  8. Chill in fridge until salmon is done, or make ahead and chill for up to 4 hours.


For the Cedar Planked Salmon:

  1. Fire up the grill.

  2. Mix up your salmon rub in a small bowl. Place the thawed Wild Alaska Sockeye fillet on your Wildwood Cedar Plank, skin-side-down. Put the entire rub onto the red flesh of the salmon, and gently pat so the oil from the salmon absorbs the rub. Brush a bit of olive oil on top of the salmon and the rub.

  3. Garnish with a few fresh sprigs of thyme, and place the entire plank with the salmon onto the grill.

  4. Halve the lemon, and place cut-side down, directly onto the grill’s grates for marks - about 2 minutes. Remove from the grill, and place aside the salmon on the plank.

  5. Continue grilling the salmon, covered, until done – for a total time of about 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the salmon. The flesh should be not-yet-opaque in the center. I grilled this on the shorter end of 10 minutes total.


To serve, plate the sockeye and garnish each portion with a generous amount of the mushroom gremolata on top, and even more on the side. Share the grilled lemon halves, and squeeze liberally. This dish is perfectly accompanied by Parmesan polenta, a garden harvest salad, and – of course – paired with your favorite Pinot Noir.

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Thunder's Catch
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