Smoked salmon doesn’t have to be something just for special occasions. Smoking your own, especially at this time of year when there are salmon deals a plenty, is a great way to add value with little to no effort. This recipe is incredibly simple and one you can embellish with your own herbs or spices to suit your taste.
1 side of salmon
170g brown sugar (you can use white granulated if you prefer)
Mix the salt and sugar together. Pin bone the side of salmon to ensure that there are no bones left. You can do this with an old pair of tweezers or even a clean pair of pliers! In a non-metallic dish, create a thin layer of your cure (salt and sugar) mix in the bottom, place your salmon skin side down on top of the cure layer and then place the rest of the cure on top. Try to coat the salmon evenly, putting a little more on the thicker head end, and a little less on the thinner tail end. This will ensure an even cure throughout the salmon. Cover the dish and place in the fridge for about 12 hours. The curing time will depend on your preference for how salty you like your smoked salmon. Once you have done this recipe once, adjust the curing time according to your results.
After 12 hours, take the salmon out of the fridge and wash thoroughly but do not dry. You will notice that the salmon has become quite tough and leathery. Don’t panic! This is normal and is just where some of the moisture has been drawn out of the salmon to preserve the fish. Place the salmon on a cooling rack and put back in the fridge for 24 hours to develop its slightly sticky coating called a pedicule. Now place the side of salmon into your cold smoker and smoke for 24 hours.
Once smoking is finished you need to complete the final step which is to wrap your salmon in clingfilm or place it in a large freezer bag, place it in the fridge and leave it alone for at least 5 days. This gives the smoky flavour time to develop throughout the salmon. Slice thinly and enjoy!