Hot smoking fish sounds intimidating but it’s something anyone can do. I have used my Big Green Egg to smoke mine but all you need is a kettle barbecue or a stove top smoker. The process takes a few hours but the only tricky part is the ability to control the heat if you’re using a kettle barbecue. Cooking time will vary according to the weight and thickness the fish fillet.
I have accompanied my salmon with fresh asparagus (just at the end of the season) and a Swedish potato salad. I also love serving it with a lightly pickled fennel and cucumber salad with fresh grated horseradish. All you need to do is slice a fennel bulb as finely as you possibly can, if you have a mandolin even better. Peel half a cucumber and de-seed, also slice finely. Place in a bowl with 50ml white wine vinegar, 25ml water, 15g caster sugar and half a teaspoon of salt. Mix well and leave for 30 minutes. Add finely chopped dill. The acidity in the salad counters the richness of the salmon perfectly.
Barbecued Hot Smoked Salmon
- 500 g Fresh salmon fillet
- 50 g course sea salt
- 500 ml tepid water
- A handful of applewood smoking chips soaked in water for 30 minutes before cooking the salmon.
- oil for greasing.
- Mix the water with the salt in a bowl then drop the salmon in. Cover & place in the fridge for 8 hours. Remove from the brine, rinse briefly and wipe dry with kitchen paper. Place on a wire rack on a tray & pop back into the fridge for 2-3 hours to form a pellicle, this is the tacky surface of the fish that is created by the proteins in the meat. This captures the smoke. Put a little oil on the skin of the salmon to stop it sticking to the grill.
- My Egg is set to 130C. Sprinkle the applewood chips on the coals. Shut the lid for a minute or two. Now open and place the fish fillet on the griddle and shut the lid. Check the salmon after 25-30 minutes, cooking times will vary according to the thickens of the fish fillet. If you have a meat thermometer insert it into the thickest part of the fish. It should reach 70C. Continue to cook until it's done. Remove and serve warm or cold
- Try hot smoking mackerel, it’s delicious with the fennel and cucumber salad.
- Try adding different aromatics to the brine such as garlic, peppercorns or horseradish.