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Jerked Cedar-Plank Halibut

Gentl & Hyers

Servings: 6

Jerk seasoning, a traditional Caribbean spice rub made with allspice berries, Scotch bonnet chiles, and a host of other herbs and spices, gets a Northwest twist in a Canadian chef’s hands. This recipe, which utilizes plank cooking on cedar, is a method commonly used on the West Coast; halibut is plentiful in neighboring Alaskan waters.

This recipe is excerpted from The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook.


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


  • 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 with the lid closed 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 and close the lid. 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.

Serve with a good corn succotash.


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