Hot smoked salmon is roasted in a smoky chamber so it has the flavour and aroma of smoke but is cooked just enough that it flakes easily. It can be eaten hot or cold with sides or used as an ingredient, like crumbled into rice of lentil salad. We serve it as a first course for dinner or as a light lunch with beet-potato salad and horseradish-spiked mayonnaise. This is a two-day process, with brining and drying the fish then a gentle, slow cook.
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup salt
- 800g salmon filet
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
Make a brine by warming the water to dissolve in the sugar and salt. Cool to room temperature.
Place the salmon in a dish or sealable bag and add the brine. Place in the fridge for 6-12 hours.
Remove the salmon from the brine and place on a rack over a dish then it goes back in the fridge for another 4-6 hours to dry out. Leave the fish uncovered so that the surface gets tacky or sticky to the touch.
Using a smoker, set it to “smoke only” so that there is no extra heat, just smoke, and place the salmon in for 40 minutes.
Raise the temperature in the smoker to 250 F and cook for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the fish is around 140F.
Brush the salmon with maple syrup and allow to cool to room temperature.
Cover and chill for up to 4 days in the cooler or up to 3 months in the freezer.
We like to serve this smoked fish at room temperature but you can warm it or serve right from the smoker.