Smoking some fish. Yum!
Smoking meat is a great way to preserve it. It also is extremely tasty. Today I smoked some sockeye salmon and some black cod (sablefish). Both are high in those healthy fish oils and are really healthy to eat. Both are my favorite fish to eat using all sorts of techniques, but today we are smoking to have as an appetizer for a family get together tomorrow.
I’ve had a small electric smoker for many years. It uses very little wood and makes smoking a breeze. First I brined the fish using 2 parts brown sugar to one part kosher salt. I then drizzle on some maple syrup. I brine for about 5 hours or so, rinse off the fish well, pat dry and place on drying racks in the refrigerator overnight. Putting in the refrigerator for a few hours allows the pellicle to form. Pellicle is a thin, sticky film that forms on the surface of the meat. The sweet smoke sticks to this pellicle and gives a much better smoked flavor than cooking without creating it. I smoked for about 4 hours until the internal temp of the thickest part reached 140 degrees. Today I used some alder wood and some apple branches from the orchard.
Brining the fish adds some flavor but it mainly pulls moisture out of the fish. This way you don’t end up with mushy smoked fish.