The first time I smoked Salmon I felt Like I had pretty much conquered the world.
As a child I would go with my father to the Eel smokers just outside of Amsterdam to buy freshly smoked Eels. I was always very impressed by the whole event , there were these very large cages of Eels swimming around and off course the smoke house where all the Eels would hang to be smoked , with that smell that travelled for miles.
They are very popular in Holland and you can get them everywhere. All markets and supermarkets sell them. At the market you get them either on a bun or eat them whole. You peel the fish and then you nibble the whole thing until you are left with nothing but the bones.
So years later when I stumbled upon a home smoker I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to buy it straight away. No one had told me that you could smoke at home. I did research and smoked just about everything in sight until I got the hang of it. Meat, Duck, Fish, Vegetables, you name it.
But even after all these years my favourite is still Salmon. I think it is because of the high fat content of the fish that it holds up so well against the smoking. I just love it when the Salmon has a leather like skin and is just pink and juicy on the inside.
The fun part is, that is actually really easy.
4 portions of Salmon, or one large piece for four portions
1 C. Coconut blossom sugar or regular sugar, use half white and half brown
1/3 cups kosher salt
3 torn up Bay leafs
2 tablespoons crushed black pepper
Mix the Sugar, Salt, Bay leafs and Pepper
Get out a ceramic or glass baking dish and put in half the seasoning, lay your Salmon on top and cover with the remaining seasoning. Cover tightly with cling film and refrigerate from 4-8 hours. 8 is best.
After this time, remove fish from the dish and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Pat dry with kitchen paper and let dry in the fridge uncovered for about three hours. This will form a skin. Essential for a good result.
Meanwhile prepare your smoker according to the manufacturers instructions.
Put about three tablespoons of wood shavings on the bottom tray of your smoker. I like to add some flavoured chips like Hickory or Maple. Put the second rack on top. Now place each piece of Salmon on a lightly oiled piece of aluminium foil, and put them on the top rack of your smoker. Salmon will stick to the rack, so the foil is a must. Put the lid on. Set the flames to medium for the first five minutes to get it going then turn to low and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. Check after 20 minutes by gently pulling a bit of Salmon away with a fork.
When its’ done remove from smoker and serve. Left overs are incredible but unlikely.