Smoking is not only a healthy but also one of the tastiest ways to prepare any kind of meat, and fish is no exception to that. Smoking gives the meat a tantalizing aroma and taste which you will not find in any other methods of cooking. Salmon is a fresh water fish which is filled with nutrients and has many health benefits. It is packed with proteins, Vitamins, and Omega 3 fatty acids and taste great as well. Consuming salmon has been known to boost cardiovascular health, skin, hair and eye care, muscle and tissue development among a hoard of other health benefits. No wonder salmon is known as the ‘king’ of all fishes.
Smoking is an effective way to preserve your fish for a longer time and also gives the meat a wonderful aroma and flavor. The best part is, smoking allows the nutrients to remain intact in the fish and you get the best of all its benefits unlike slow cooking. Read on to find out the method of making smoked salmon and also how to store it for further use.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Smoking time: 40 minutes
Difficulty level: Medium
You will need:
2 fresh fillets of salmon,
½ cup lime juice,
1 tablespoon mixed herbs like thyme, basil, cilantro etc.,
1 teaspoon black pepper (coarsely ground),
1 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil,
For the brine solution:
5 quarts of water,
salt (2 tbsp per cup water),
a large bowl for making the solution,
two sheets of aluminum foil.
- To make the brine, heat 1 quart of water in the bowl and pour the salt using 2 tbsp for 1 cup water. Next take aluminum bucket and pour 4 quarts of cold water inside it. Now add the warm salt and water solution inside the cold water.
- Clean the fish fillets and dip in the brine solution, upside down for about 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes remove the fish from the solution and carefully rinse with cold water and pat dry till all the moisture and salt has been removed. Place the fillets on wire mesh and let them dry till they have a glaze on the skin. It will take about 2-3 hours.
- If you have an electric smoker, set the temperature at 180°-200° F; and then place the wood inside. Use any kind of hard wood like alder wood for best results. Now take two aluminum foils which should be slightly bigger than the size of the fish and place the fillets on the foils upside down.
- For the seasoning, mix lime juice, pepper powder, olive oil and mixed herbs and rub and coat the top of the fillets.
- Next place the fish inside the racks and set them for smoking at an internal temperature of around 135° F. and your fish should be done after 40 minutes. You can now add some extra lime juice, herbs and pepper and your smoked fish is ready to be enjoyed. You can add the smoked slices to a dish of fresh salad or just enjoy them with a glass of white wine.
Tips: When purchasing the fish, check to see if the flesh is firm or is it giving away when you are pressing the belly. If it is soft and smelling “fishy” it is not fresh.
Life the gills of the whole fish and only purchase the ones where the gills are red and sticky.