Tag Archives: Cooking

Easy Home Smoked Salmon Recipe: A Sweet, Salty, and Salmony Manna from Heaven.

Smoked Salmon is one of the tastiest, healthiest, and belive it or not, easiest things to make at home, so long as you have a little patience. The process is cakework, and the time it sits makes it taste great.

Easy Smoked Salmon

Easy Smoked Salmon

There is basically only 4 totally “needed” ingredients, and only a 4 easy steps between you and Salmon Heaven. My recipe is for a dry brined salmon, which is then hot smoked, which I feel is simple, easy, and imparts a beautiful flavor to the fish.

Ingredients you will need.

Salmon (I prefer Coho, King, or Sockeye, but Pink, and Chum Salmon also smoke well. Even Steelhead Trout can work great).
Dark Brown Sugar
Sea Salt
Spices (garlic is the only “NEEDED” spice, but you could add others according to taste).

Ok here we go.

Step One:
Prepare the fish… This is easy, just filet the fish, cut some long slits into, but NOT through, the meat every inch or so, and then cut into portion size peices (about 4 ounces each). You could also use salmon steaks, but I feel that filets allow more brine and smoke flavor to get into the meat.

Step Two:
Brine the fish… Mix 5 parts brown sugar with 1 part sea salt. Then add in spices to taste. The ratios need to stay the same, but the quantity will change depending on how much fish you have to smoke. If I use 5 cups of brown sugar and one cup of salt I might add in 10 cloves of chopped garlic, and maybe a little fresh ground black pepper.

Ok you have the dry brine… now just put your filets in a glass or plastic contaner and cover them completely with the brine… thats it… stick it in the fridge overnight. In the morning the dry brine will have turned to liquid… thats awesome.

Step Three:
Dry the fish… Take the fish out of the refridgerator and rinse it off in the sink. Now lay the filets on a rack and allow them so sit at room temperature for 4-6 hours, less if its really warm in the room. This will dry the fish and will allow it to form a tacky shiny surface… this is called a pellicle. This step is crucial… do not skip it or worry about the fish spoiling by sitting out for a few hours. the salt from the brine that soaked into the meat will impede bacteria growth. The pellicle keeps the remaining moisture in the fish during smoking and allows the smoke to properly permeate it.

Step Four:
Smoke the fish… Put in a grill, smoker, or smokehouse and smoke the fish until finished (5 hours or so varible depending on the temperature of your smoker). Hard woods such as alder wood are most common and give a great flavor to the salmon. Fruit woods like cherry or apple also work very well.

Now Eat and Enjoy.

Feel free to share your own recipes for smoked salmon in the comments section, or let me know how this turned out.

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Filed under Alaska Fishing, Coho Fishing, Cooking, Fishing, Salmon Fishing

Halibut Recipe – Thai Halibut Curry

As you know I am a big fan of bringing exotic recipes to the subsistance fish that we all have stocked in our freezers. As good as fish and chips, smoked salmon, and baked halibut are every once in a while we need a change of pace.

This is a personal adaptation to a Thai favorite. A simple preperation with great ingredients that yeilds a healthy and flavorful meal sure to please everyone.

Thai Halibut Curry 

2 Pounds Skinless Halibut Filet (cut into portions
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Cup Diced Shallots (onion can be substituted)
3 Tablespoons Red Curry Paste
1 Cup Coconut Milk
2 Cups of Fish Stock (Chicken Stock could be substituted)
1/2 cup of Cilantro (Chopped)
1/4 cup Basil Leaves (Chopped)
1 Tablespoon Peanut Butter
1 Lime
Scallions for Garnish
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to Season
Rice or Rice Noodles

Saute Shallots in the Canola Oil over medium heat until they start to turn soft and golden. Add in Fish Stock, Curry Paste, Coconut Milk, and Peanut Butter. Simmer for about 5-8 Minutes until Sauce reduces and starts to thicken slightly.

Lightly season the Halibut Portions with Salt and Ground Black Pepper. Place the Halibut in the pan with the sauce and spoon the saucce over the halibut so it is completely covered. Cover and cook for about 5-8 minutes until Halibut just flakes. Do NOT Overcook the Halibut.

Place some rice or noodles on a plate and sprinkle with the basil. Place the Halibut Portion over the rice. Add the Cilantro to the sauce and allow it to wilt. Squeeze a sprinkle of Lime Juice over the Halibut and then spoon the sauce over the fish and rice or pasta. Garnish with Scallions and Fresh Black Pepper.

Enjoy. This is a favorite in my family and I hope that you love it as well.

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Filed under Alaska Fishing, Cooking, Fishing, Halibut Fishing

You can filet Salmon and other fish fast with the right tools.

There is no doubt that there is a certain amount of technique required to quickly make boneless filets from the big Silver Salmon, or King Salmon, Halibut, or other fish you just caught.

That being said the right tools make all the difference. Lets start out with the knife. A good filet knife is a combination of sharpness, strength, and flexibility. The knife needs to be strong enough to push through the flesh of the Salmon along the backbone. It also needs to be sharp, and hold its edge well, so that you can glide the knife through the fish instead of having to saw through it. Lastly is flexibility, you want a knife with a little bend in it, so that you can skin your filets and glide the knife down the backbone without your hand and knuckles grinding along the table like some kind of caveman.

One knife is used more than just about any other by fishermen here in Alaska, including the comercial guys, is the white handled Dexter-Russell Filet Knife.

Great Filet Knife for Salmon

Great Filet Knife for Salmon

This knife has a great combination of what we talked about before, holds and edge well, has a great handle with excellent grip, and cleans up super easily.

Another problem for fishermen is how do you get out those pesky pin bones without losing a buch of the meat. One popular solution is needle-nose pliers. Make sure they are clean and do not use the pair from your shop. A better solution might suprise you.

They are called needle holders, or sometimes needle drivers. It is a surgical tool used by doctors and dentists to suture wounds in tight spaces.

The right tool to take out pinbones.

The right tool to take out pinbones.

Why are these so much better then pliers? They lock in place, they do not slip, and they let you pull out bone after bone without having to repeatedly clean off the tip. You can pick up pairs of these surgical tools inexpensively online, and impress your freinds while the struggle with pliers.

Good Luck fishing and Tight Lines to you. For more information on Fishing in Alaska be sure to subscribe and read this blog regularly.

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Filed under Alaska Fishing, Cooking, Fishing, Halibut Fishing, Salmon Fishing