It’s Planking Season!

You know how some things are so fad-like that you never want to touch them until years later when people aren’t really interested in them anymore? That’s kind of what I feel about cooking fish on planks. Planking is so… well… 1997 Emeril.

Still, what is old is new again, and just because I deem it so, it’s cool. It’s also a way to add a lot of flavor to a dish without adding a lot of extra calories in the process.

This weekend we visited our friends the Liebermans on Long Island. Mark Lieberman is my oldest friend, who I’ve known for 30 years. He was my best man at my wedding way back when, so when he tells me we have to come over and eat his planked fish, well, then I guess we better.

If you don’t plank, you’re gonna walk the… well you know.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more planking action.

First you start with wood planks, which you soak for several hours. These are Alder wood planks, sold by The Pampered Chef. For $20 for a pack of eight, its not a bad deal.

Fish is brushed with Olive Oil and then seasoned with a fish spice rub. Here we have Tilapia and Orange Roughy (Top, Bottom)

Mark likes Bad Byron’s Jubilee, which is a seasoning blend in the Cajun or Redneck Riviera style. It worked great with the fish.

Cameo is preparing to pounce on his prey.

I planned to simply sear the Tuna, with a Pampered Palate Garlic and Pepper rub.

We planned to accompany the fish with basket grilled Haricot Vert with a Tamari/Sesame/Olive Oil/Salt and Pepper seasoning and chopped Garlic Scapes.

As well as a nice salad.

And a Bean and Brown Rice Salad Rachel brought.

We thought we would start off with some Lamb Sausages though.

The Master of his Domain.

Planking time — LIGHTLY paint the planks with some olive oil. If you add too much, they’ll ignite.

Then season with your fish rub.

Place the fish on the planks.

Close the hatch and check back in a few minutes.

Haricots Vert are done!

Mmmmm. Lamb Sausage.

Looking good!

After the other fish was done cooking, it was removed to a platter and I seared the Tuna and sliced it up.

This was served over salad greens, a squeeze of lemon juice and some Tamari soy sauce.

Okay, so when do I get my piece of the action?

An ideal dessert for a 4th of July weekend.

13 Responses to It’s Planking Season!

  1. Mark Lieberman says:

    Great Job Jason… This article looks so good Cameo and I would like to have it again.

    Mark Lieberman

    (30 years)

  2. Everything looks fabulous, especially the seared tuna salad and the dessert!

  3. That tuna looks outrageously good. I’m so jealous of Cameo! (assuming of course that he got his share :-)

  4. Daniel says:

    First, the cat is awesome. Second, do you have to use alder or can you use other woods? Does the wood add to the flavor? Those how-to photos are the best. Thanks from us at

  5. deb says:

    Your photos are looking awesome.

  6. There are many different types of woods that you can use. The reason why we used Alder wood is mainly because that is the wood of choice for seafood products. Definately YES, the wood planks add to the flavor. The trick is not to let the wood burn, just smoke the wood’s flavor into the fish.

    On a side note, take a look at the platters and seasonings being that most of them also came from the Pampered Chef.

    P.S. Cameo the cat says “MEOW MEOW MEOW,” (thank you for taking notice of me.)

    P.P.S My wife is a pampered chef consultent so if you order anything please order from her.

  7. Suzanne F says:

    Everything looks delectable, but the thing that calls to me the (almost) most is those green beans. Now THOSE would change a few carnivores’ minds.

  8. Melissa says:

    Another Perlow masterpiece! The cat looking as if the fish was intended for him was the “piece de resistance” … the new camera did a great job on that seared tuna!

  9. The tuna looks delicious! Much better than what I’ve seen in restaurants lately along the Gulf Coast. Keep up the great work on that grill!

  10. Bonnie says:

    I have been conserving my garlic scapes to savor as long as possible. I am impressed that he had them on L.I., congested land of the no organic farms. A friend sauteed them the other day and served them unadorned, they were delicious.

    I am forwarding this post to my husband, a fanatical griller. He uses a charcoal grill and wood chips, so planking might not be necessary, but I’m sure he’ll try it if it works.

    I love how you provide visuals to everything you do. Great post!

  11. Rebecca263 says:

    Your photos are looking great!

  12. Jeff says:

    Nice tips on using wood planks. I did not know about using oil — even lightly — would have intimidated me. I’m most amazed that you had a cat around raw fish and didn’t lose any. Never would have happened around our critters. :)

  13. Planking says:

    Nice but I know a new way to plank!!

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