Cedar Wrapped Salmon & Asparagus

Infused with the sweet, smoky aura of cedarwood, this salmon and asparagus preparation makes for a killer presentation, and is easy to put together!


  1. 4 fresh salmon portions, approximately 4-6 ounces each
  2. 1 lb asparagus, divided into 4 portions (see note*)
  3. 1 lemon sliced into 8 thin rounds
  4. 1/4 cup mayo
  5. 1 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes
  6. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  7. 1/2 teaspoon powdered sumac (optional, see note**)
  8. Spring of rosemary or thyme (optional, see note***)
  9. Pinch Kosher salt
  10. 4 cedar wraps for grilling


  1. Soak cedar wraps in cool water for an hour or two before assembly; this will prevent them from catching fire on the grill and will make them more pliable to work with. No need to use your sink for this; a wide shallow pan or rimmed baking sheet will do just fine.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together mayo, Aleppo chili, brown sugar, kosher salt, and sumac (if using)
  3. Preheat grill and set up for two-zone cooking (hot side = direct heat; cooler side = indirect heat. For gas, light one or two burners; for charcoal, prepare as normal and bank coals to one side before cooking).
  4. Remove cedar papers from water and gently blot dry
  5. Brush cedar wrap with very thin (almost translucent) layer of mayo mixture
  6. Place bundle asparagus in the center of the cedar wrap
  7. Place salmon portion on top of asparagus, brush again lightly with mayo mixture
  8. Top salmon with two lemon rounds (seeds removed, which I forgot to do for this post)
  9. Top with sprig of rosemary or thyme (if using)
  10. Fold edges over asparagus, salmon and lemon. If some asparagus is peaking out, that’s okay – but have it be the bottoms, rather than the delicate tips, that are exposed.
  11. Secure with cooking twine (one tie in the middle of the wrap should do it)
  12. Grill over direct heat for 2 minutes – just long enough to mark the cedar paper, then transfer to indirect heat
  13. Remove packets from grill when internal temp of salmon hits 130°F; transfer immediately to a casserole dish or similar, and seal tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 20 minutes; residual heat and resulting steam will cook salmon and asparagus through
  14. Serve with rice, or starch of choice

*Note: Depending on the thickness of your asparagus, you may need to par-cook it to ensure it’s done at the same time as the salmon. You could do this by blanching it in boiling water until bright green – but honestly, just wrap it in a few layers of damp paper towels and nuke it in the microwave for 1-3 minutes (depending on the strength of your microwave), checking every 30 seconds, until it’s bright green

**Note: Sumac is a key ingredient in Mediterranean cooking, and is fabulous on grilled meat and veggies, as well as an awesome addition to salads. It has a zingy, lemon-zesty, yet somewhat earthy flavor, and can be found at well stocked grocery stores or, of course, on Amazon

***Note: Rosemary (pictured) is good, and is pretty – but it’s strong, distinct flavor may overwhelm the more subtle flavors of the dish for some palates, so unless you LOVE rosemary, I’d opt for thyme


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