Planked Whitefish With Cilantro-Lime Butter Recipe


I'm making strides at becoming a seafood eater. If it's fried, I'll most likely at least try it, but I want to step it up and eat fish not just because it has a golden crunchy crust, but because it's fish.

The next step to achieving this was making a mild flavored fish, planked, and mixed with other flavors that I knew I already liked—that's where this recipe for a cedar planked whitefish with cilantro-lime butter came in. Any mild, flaky whitefish will do; my fishmonger had fresh flounder. Coming from a grilling mindset, I thought about rubs, and what would match well with wood flavor from planking—I opted for a cedar plank.

Once the fish was opaque and started to flake, after about 20 minutes over an indirect, medium heat, I slathered on a tasty compound butter of cilantro, serrano chile, and lime.

All of my inclinations here were right on. While both the woody flavor of the plank and butter were excellent additions, they only complemented and didn't mask the fish. It's a great way to enjoy fish, particularly for seafood eaters in training.

Recipe Details

Planked Whitefish With Cilantro-Lime Butter Recipe

Active 20 mins
Total 45 mins
Serves 4 servings


  • 2 large or 4 medium fillets of a mild whitefish, such as haddock, flounder, or cod

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Cilantro-Lime Butter:

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 medium serrano chile, seeded and finely minced

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • Zest of 1 lime


  1. Soak cedar planks for 1 hour prior to use.

    In a small bowl, combine butter, serrano chile, cilantro, lime juice, and lime zest. Set aside.

  2. In another small bowl mix together salt, chili powder, and black pepper. Season both sides of fish with seasoning mixture.

  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place planks over hot side of the grill until it start to char and smoke. Flip planks over and move to cool side of grill and arrange fish on top. Cover grill and cook until fish is opaque and starts to flake, about 15 to 20 minutes.

  4. Remove fish from the grill, spread with the cilantro-lime butter and serve.

Special Equipment

Grill, 2 cedar planks (pre-soaked)

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
299 Calories
24g Fat
1g Carbs
20g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 299
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 108mg 36%
Sodium 583mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 252mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)