Whether you are cooking a lovely meal for yourself, your family or someone you would like to impress, smoked salmon will make for a lovely meal. It is delicious, earthy and filling. Smoking will preserve the salmon and bring out its flavour without adding too much salt. It is also a healthy alternative to simply frying the salmon. Add your personal touch to the meal by learning how to prepare smoked salmon. Here are a few tips:
- Prepare your ingredients. You will need freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (2-3 pieces), salt, water, olive oil, ginger juice (optional: skin some ginger, cut into small dices and squeeze out the juice) and herbs of your choice (optional) like thyme or rosemary, wood chips for your smoker, meat thermometer and of course, some salmon fillet. Cut the salmon into uniform pieces, at less than an inch thick. Cutting them this way will let the salmon cook evenly. Make sure the salmon is properly thawed so it will cook properly and not stick to the smoker rack. Prepare a brine solution by dissolving 2 to 3 tablespoons of plain rock salt in lukewarm water.
- Soak the salmon in the brine solution for at least 20 minutes. The longer you soak it, the saltier the salmon will be. Fully cover the salmon in the brine solution.
- Wash off the excess brine with cool water. Rub in the ginger juice and/or herbs. Set aside.
- Prepare your smoker, following the instructions of its manufacturer. The temperature should be kept on low. Spray your racks with some vegetable oil. Put the rack in the smoker after oiling.
- Place the salmon skin side facing down on aluminum foil before putting it in the smoker. Smoke the salmon until the meat thermometer hits 140 degrees F. Remove the salmon. Do not let it over-cook and dry out.
The steps you find here on how to prepare smoked salmon can also be used for Alaskan halibut.