Indubitably, what could be more appetizing than the savor of hot smoked fish? Evidently, the answer is simple; smoked fish made right in the comfort of your own home. With that said, it comes as no surprise that salmon is the perfect choice for the job. The process of preparing salmon for smoking is not necessarily complicated, albeit relatively lengthy. Nevertheless, you will undoubtedly be able to reap the fruits of your labor when the tantalizing aroma of your freshly smoked salmon permeates throughout your abode.
- Fillet of salmon — 1 kg.
- Warm water — 200 ml.
- Salt — 40 g.
- Honey — 70 g.
- Brown sugar — 70 g.
- One bay leaf
- Garlic — 10 g.
How to make smoked salmon
Step 1. To commence, delicately select any small bones from the salmon fillet. This is best achieved using tweezers. To locate the bones, run your hand over the surface of the fillet, and once detected, remove them cautiously. Please note that the bones in the carcass are positioned at an angle; therefore, it is imperative that you follow the same direction at the correct angle to evade any damage to the carcass’s integrity.
Step 2. Next, proceed to cut each part of the fillet across into three portions. Smaller pieces are recommended for ease of handling, although leaving it whole is also an option.
Step 3. Afterward, pour water into a pan and place it over heat. Once the water reaches its boiling point, insert the bay leaf, add honey, salt, and sugar, and stir until all the ingredients dissolve. Peel the garlic, and subsequently add it to the brine. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Step 4. Then, carefully place the salmon fillet in a glass or plastic container, ensuring that the side with the skin is facing up. Proceed to pour the brine over the fish. Salmon has a tendency to float to the surface; hence, this position will allow the meat to remain immersed in the brine.
Step 6. Allow the fillet to marinate in the brine for 30 minutes. Should you wish for a saltier option, the salmon can be left to soak for a longer duration in the brine.
Step 7. Following the aforementioned period, remove the salmon from the brine, and rinse it under running water. Dry the salmon using paper towels, and then place the fillet on a wire rack. Leave the salmon in a cool, preferably outdoor, environment for at least 2 hours. Once the fish dries, its surface acquires a sticky texture, making it ideal for smoking.
Step 8. In the meantime, during the last half hour of the fish drying, soak the chips in water. Once the drying time has elapsed, place the chips in the smoker, and subsequently position the salmon on the grate. Ignite the fire, and allow the salmon to smoke until it obtains a magnificent golden hue.
You can either serve the fish immediately upon completion or cool it to room temperature and wrap it securely in foil before storing it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.