Homemade Smoked Salmon

Homemade Smoked Salmon

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25 m
Calories: 150
4 people

Would you like to make homemade smoked salmon? An exquisite dish perfect for a special dinner or lunch. The technique of homemade smoking is simple, and the results are impressive. All you need is to follow the steps and have a little patience. If you love fish recipes,  on Homemade Kitchen, we'll show you how to prepare smoked salmon, homemade style.

The smoking technique dates back to prehistoric times.

Its primary purpose wasn't to flavor foods; this was a 'side effect.' Smoking was mainly used to preserve foods for longer periods. In the past, food preservation was a challenge. In colder regions, food was often stored under snow, but this wasn't feasible year-round. Prehistoric caves lacked chimneys, making it easy for foods to get smoked. It's believed that our ancestors hung meat near the fire in their homes to dry it out. Over time, the smoking process was combined with adding salt, which helped preserve meat or fish even longer.

The best salmon for smoking is less than three years old, which is when it's freshest and most flavorful (except for very large salmon, most of what you'll find is less than three years old). Nowadays, salmon can be smoked cold or hot. The salmon is placed in a brine with a mix of sugar, salt, and pepper, and then moved to a smoker. The required smoking time varies based on the fish's size.

Ingredients for Homemade Smoked Salmon for 4 people

  • Fresh Salmon – 1 kilo
  • Coarse Salt – 325 g
  • Brown Sugar – 50 g
  • Smoked Salt (Onena, La Salmantina, or another brand) – 1.5 grams

How to make the recipe Homemade Smoked Salmon

  1. Before prepping, split the salmon into two fillets, remove the bones, but leave the skin on. Freeze for two days. Fresh fish needs freezing if eaten raw to prevent anisakis. If you're cooking the salmon, this isn't necessary.
  2. After two days, thaw in the refrigerator.
  3. Mix the smoked salt, coarse salt, and sugar. Lay one salmon piece skin-down on the salt and sugar mixture. Cover it with the other salmon piece, skin facing out.
  4. Wrap the salmon in aluminum foil and place it in a glass dish or tray. Place another tray or plate over the fish, and put something heavy on top, like two 1-kilo rice bags or large tomato cans. Anything weighing around two kilos will do.
  5. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 48 hours. Every 10-12 hours, drain the liquid that the fish releases.
  6. After resting, test the salmon. Sometimes, it might need more time to achieve the 'smoked' style. If the texture isn't to your liking, let it rest for another half day. Patience is essential; the result is worth the wait.
  7. Once satisfied with the salmon's texture, gently remove the salt using damp kitchen paper. Repeat a few times. Alternatively, place the fish in a strainer and run a tiny stream of water over it. Dry the fish afterward.
  8. The salmon can be stored in a container with some oil in the fridge, but consume within two or three days.

Notes and Tips

Smoked salt is essential to achieve the salmon's 'smoked' flavor. You can find it in large stores for about 3 dollars. You'll use very little, so it lasts long. Another variant is adding some dill, which pairs well with salmon. Did you like this recipe?

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