Planked Saffron Wild Pacific Halibut with Avocado and Tropical Fruit Salsa


By: Ron Shewchuk
Adapted from the recipe created by Ron Shewchuk.

Chef’s Note: I get my fish at Westlynn Meats and Seafood in beautiful Lynn Valley in the heart of British Columbia’s rainforest. Mike works there and he knows his fish. His unusual recipe, which I’ve adapted for the plank, pairs the intense flavor of the spiced halibut with a cool tropical salsa.



Tropical Salsa

Makes about 3 cups/750 mL

This perfect summer salsa is great on grilled fish or beef. No matter where or when you eat it, you’re instantly on a sunny vacation.

  • 2 cups (500 mL)  -  diced tropical fruit (any combination of mango, papaya, kiwi, pineapple)

  • 2  -  just-ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and coarsely chopped

  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL)  -  chopped cilantro

  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL)  -  chopped red onion

  • 1  -  jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped

  • 2 tsp (10 mL)  -  fresh lime juice

  • pinch  -  sugar

  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Let the salsa stand, covered, in the fridge for about an hour.

Wild Pacific Halibut

  • 1  -  cedar plank soaked overnight or at least 1 hour

  • 4  -  6 oz /175 g wild Pacific halibut fillets

  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tsp (5 mL)  -  ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL)  -  turmeric

  • pinch  -  saffron threads, crumbled

  • pinch  -  cayenne pepper

  • 1  -  lime, cut in half

  • extra virgin olive oil

Season both sides of the fillets with salt and pepper. Combine the cumin, turmeric, saffron, and cayenne in a bowl and sprinkle the rub lightly over the fillets. Squeeze the lime halves over the fillets and drizzle them with a little olive oil. Marinate the fish for 15 minutes.                 

Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5–10 minutes, or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F/260°C. Rinse the soaked plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4–5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low.         

Place the fillets on the plank and cook the fish for 15–20 minutes, or until the fish has an internal temperature of 140°F/60°C. Remove it from the grill and tent it lightly in foil. Let it rest for 2 or 3 minutes.                 

Serve the fillets topped with a dollop of salsa.

Serves 4-6

Recipe copyright © by Ron Shewchuk. All rights reserved. Featured with permission.

Photo by: Greg Athans