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David Ross

eG Cook-Off #82: Salmon

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1 hour ago, heidih said:

 

That miso salmon looks good. What were the other glaze components?

Dark miso, honey and soy in roughly equal amounts. Maybe a little less soy. I put it on the filet and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then steam cook to 120 f internal temp. Sometimes I've torched the glaze to get a little caramelization. 

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This is a series of photos from back in 2012 of cold-smoked salmon I made during our eG Cook-Off #59, https://forums.egullet.org/topic/142515-cook-off-59-cured-brined-smoked-and-salted-fish/ (I'll be posting my gravlax with Aquavit recipe soon).

 

I still use this recipe today, although I typically don't pay the premium price for Copper River salmon.  I'll wait into mid-June and buy fresh Alaska salmon that doesn't carry the pr and marketing price of Copper River-but is just as good.  We have a couple of shops in our region that buy the salmon direct from fishermen in Alaska and bypass other vendors in the distribution chain to keep the price down.  They fish it, ship it from Alaska and it's down in the Spokane area with a day from when it's harvested.  

 

Back in 2012 the price for fresh Copper River salmon was $29.99 a pound on May 19.  That's about as cheap as it gets for us so I imagine if anyone in the Midwest or East can get fresh Copper River salmon it goes for much more.  

copper river 1.jpg-

 

The shop cleaned and boned the salmon-

copper river 2.jpg

 

A lot of recipes use too much salt for my tastes, so I use a ratio of 1/3 cup of Kosher salt to ¼ cup of sugar. I also add a tablespoon of Salish Smoked Alder Salt.  It's a sea salt that is smoked with alderwood boards that come from an old smoked salmon cannery in Alaska.  Alder is one of the traditional woods used by Native Americans for smoking and roasting salmon.

copper rive 3.jpg

 

I buy a whole side of salmon and cut it in half. Each salmon filet is liberally dusted with the salt/sugar mix then allowed to cure, covered, in the refrigerator for 7 hours. I don't add any herbs like dill for this recipe.

copper river 4.jpgcopper river 5.jpg

 

After curing for 7 hours, I rinse off the salmon and then put it back in the refrigerator for another two hours, uncovered, to dry out the flesh. Then I cold-smoke the salmon in my digital smoker (smoke only, no heat), using alder wood chips.

 

Sliced as thin as I can get it. 

copper river 6.jpg

 

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"Smoked Salmon Candy" is a traditional dish we make in the Northwest.  Similar to regular hot-smoked salmon, it involves some unique and different steps.  The result is smoked salmon that is salty and sweet yet very moist.  It has a deep, vibrant red color with a glossy, almost transparent finish.

 

Legend says that Smoked Salmon Candy is the creation of Native Canadians who married the process of brining, drying and smoking salmon with pure maple syrup. I first had Smoked Salmon Candy as an appetizer at the Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver, Canada. I remember the menu description led me to believe it was basically a smoked salmon dish with traditional garnishes--then the plate arrived at the table and I realized that I was in for a new experience--small logs of deep-red, almost transluscent salmon with a rich, oily sheen nestled alone on the plate. The salmon had a firm, yet soft texture, somewhere between cold-smoked salmon and what we know as salmon jerky. But it was anything but the dry, chewy texture of a jerky. The sweet flavor of Canadian Maple Syrup was counter-balanced by a good measure of salt. It was a revelation for me. I had never tasted smoked salmon so unique and so delicious. That's when I first fell in love with Smoked Salmon Candy.

 

I first made Smoked Salmon Candy during our Cook-Off #59: Cured, Brined, Smoked and Salted Fish.  The first question I asked was about using sodium nitrite in the cure.  I had never used it on fish, only meat.  Apparently sodium nitrite is sometimes used in the brine for smoked fish to kill any bacteria during the unsafe temp window of 40-140 used during smoking.  In the end I didn't use it, only pickling salt.

post-41580-0-63403100-1334949467_thumb.jpg

 

The process of crafting Smoked Salmon Candy at home takes me a week--2 days of brining, 4 days of drying and 1 day of smoking. I start with a whole side of Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon. Frozen works well, but we prefer fresh spring salmon to celebrate the season. I cut the salmon into 1" wide filet strips and then let them sit in the brine for 24 hours.

The brine-

10 cups water

1/2 cup pickling salt

2 cups dark brown sugar

1 cup maple syrup

1 tbsp. black peppercorns

I've tried this recipe with 8 cups water to 1 cup salt and it was far too salty for my tastes.

Into the brine-

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The salmon comes out of the brine and is rinsed in clean, cold water. The next step, drying, was a shock to me at first.  I've cured salmon before but always let it dry in the cool fridge.  The traditional recipe I started with calls for drying at room temperature or outside.  But the recipe works perfect and there hasn't been any danger drying the salmon in the back pantry. Most recipes call for drying the salmon for 1-2 days. I stretch it on this point and dry the salmon, uncovered, at air temperature, for 4 days. I check the salmon by touch each day to make sure it isn't getting to dry and still has some spring to the flesh and develops a sheen on the surface. The idea is to dry the meat and concentrate the flavors, yet not take it to the point where the flesh is fully dried-out. The salmon filets on a rack over a cookie sheet to dry-

post-41580-0-45397100-1334965978_thumb.jpg

After 4 days of drying at room temperature, I brush the filets with a mixture of 3/4 cup clover honey and 1/4 cup water. The maple syrup and brown sugar in the brine sweeten the meat of the salmon, and the honey is the "candy" glaze-

post-41580-0-25075400-1334971756_thumb.jpg

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The next step is smoking.  I use a Bradley digital smoker.  It uses little "bisquettes" which are small, round compacted discs of wood chips.  In the Pacific Northwest we use the traditonal alderwood for smoking salmon.  The Bradley smoker works well for me because I can set the time, temperature and the bisquettes are automatically fed into the smoker.

post-41580-0-77961800-1334971843_thumb.jpgpost-41580-0-02840700-1335015665_thumb.jpg

Of course, this was a few years back when the smoker was new and clean.  It's got a good layer of smoke now, which actually is much better.  The first run in a new smoker doesn't always result in the best smoked flavor. I smoke the salmon "candy" filets over alderwood at a temperature of 140 for about 5 hours. The salmon turns out to the have just the right balance of smoke and isn't over-cooked at this temp and time.

 

Alaska Copper River Salmon Candy.jpg

Indian Candy 2.jpg

 

 

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Salmon was supposed to be tonight's dinner.  Amazon left the salmon out of my delivery.

 

But to make perhaps a more useful post, I had ordered sockeye on sale.  Previously I had tried king, which I thought was very good.  For grilling, how does king compare with sockeye?  Sockeye is less expensive, even not on sale.

 

 

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@David Ross -- Oh, dear sweet baby Jesus. That looks and sounds absolutely stunning. Be assured it is on my list to do, with your instructions carefully copied and saved, as soon as I get moved and can commence cooking again!

 

 

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On 5/13/2019 at 5:53 PM, dans said:

 

I order from the place next door. They aren't throwing fish around and will cut it whatever way you ask.  I just received a notice that they are taking orders for copper river salmon (king and sockeye).

 

We went to the Olympic Peninsula for a wedding one time and stopped at the stall at Pike Place Market. We got a whole salmon cut into steaks and packed to travel. People were raving about the salmon when I cut out the bone, tied it into a "burger" then grilled it up.  We have ordered some sent to us on the east coast a few times. Unfortunately, we sibned up with Cape Ann Fresh catch and they have salmon equally as good.


Check the two of the out:

Pure Food Fish Market

Cape Ann Fresh Catch

 

 

I'm in Cape Ann Fresh Catch too!  Hello fellow Massachusetts person!  🙂

 

Last night, I used my Cape Ann Fresh Catch salmon to make a sheet-pan roasted salmon nicoise salad.  The recipe is from the New York Times.  Here's a link: 

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020220-sheet-pan-roasted-salmon-nicoise-salad?action=click&module=Local Search Recipe Card&pgType=search&rank=1

 

It was simple and quite good.  The potatoes, olives, tomatoes, green beans and salmon all get roasted on the same pan (potatoes going in first of course).  I especially liked the dressing.

 

1925732337_salmonnicoise.thumb.jpg.7d04a6f7b9fe47fee12ef40ffdf50299.jpg

 

 

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14 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Salmon was supposed to be tonight's dinner.  Amazon left the salmon out of my delivery.

 

But to make perhaps a more useful post, I had ordered sockeye on sale.  Previously I had tried king, which I thought was very good.  For grilling, how does king compare with sockeye?  Sockeye is less expensive, even not on sale.kng

 

 

For my tastes I always prefer sockeye over king salmon-grilling, smoking, curing, just about any type of preparation.  I think it has more flavor and a higher oil content than king salmon and it's a stretch then for me to pay the price of king salmon.

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@liamsaunt

 

I might have said the before

 

you have the most colorful plates of food Ive ever seen.

 

At Home , and at a restaurant.

 

exceptionally appetizing 

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I like salmon and eat it every week. Often cure a piece for weekend lunches. Have made salmon almost every which way, too. But not this...

hR5WCm5.jpg

 

Ate it on train journeys in Japan. Couldn't stop after just 1. Saved 1 last bundle to take home and made it last and last. Hope to visit Hakodate again so I can get more, and ship it home. I also bought many bags of dried squid. It tasted better than Chinese or Taiwanese versions. My jaws hurt so nice for days.

 

I bought the entire display! (Many stalls have free samples, you can always try a small piece before deciding to buy)

5XuwIIp.jpg

 

Besides home-cured salmon I also like it hot smoked (I use an old wok).

 

O2hCS9H.jpg

 

I cry again

I swear again

I drink again

I smoke again

xlSY7S7.jpg

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This is a new salmon dish I made a few months back.  It was sort of an adventure and part of our Avocado Cook-Off here https://forums.egullet.org/topic/158091-eg-cook-off-81-the-avocado-finding-new-popularity-in-the-kitchen/. I knew I wanted to do something different with avocado and I wanted to pair it with salmon.  I had never heard of pickled avocado, it was just a thought that popped into my head.  I started with an online recipe, then tinkered with it a bit to add some different spices so the dish would have Mexican flavors. Then using the pickled avocado I used it in a watermelon salsa to go with pan-roasted salmon.

 

I don't remember now, but I'm pretty sure this was fresh, albeit farmed, Atlantic salmon.  It looks better when you photograph it than it tastes.  The farmed salmon we get isn't from the cold waters of Northern Europe.  It doesn't have much flavor or color.  I might have been better off using frozen wild salmon. Wild salmon would have the bold taste to go better with the flavors of the salsa. 

 

Pickled Avocado-Watermelon Salsa-makes 3 cups

½ cup white vinegar

½ cup water

1 tbsp. Kosher salt

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. coriander seeds

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 tsp. cumin seeds

6 fresh cilantro sprigs

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. finely diced jalapeno

1 tsp. lime zest

2 unripe avocados

1 cup, seedless watermelon cut into small cubes

½ cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp, minced jalapeno

½ cup finely chopped cilantro

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, coriander, mustard and cumin seeds and water in a small saucepan over high heat.  Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the brine into a container.  Add the cilantro, garlic, jalapeno and lime zest to the brine.  Let the brine cool to room temperature.

 

Cut the avocados in half then remove the pit.  Peel off the skin and dice the avocado into small cubes.  When the brine is cooled add the avocado cubes. Cover the container and refrigerate the avocado overnight.  The pickled avocado will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

 

Before serving, drain the pickled avocado from the brine.  Place in a bowl and add the fresh watermelon and avocado cubes, the onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil and gently toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  The salsa should be served the same day you combine all the ingredients.

Pickled Avocado Ingredients.JPGPickled Avocado.JPG

 

Salmon-

4, 6-8 oz. salmon filets

2 tsp. mustard powder

2 tsp. chili powder

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. olive oil

 

Heat the oven to 400.  Rub each salmon filet with some of the mustard and chili powder and season with salt and pepper. 

 

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the butter and 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Add the salmon filets and brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the salmon for another 4-5 minutes or until the salmon is firm to the touch and done.

 

Pan-Roasted Salmon with Pickled Avocado-Watermelon Salsa-

IMG_0965.JPG

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On ‎5‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 7:27 PM, David Ross said:

For years I've been watching Chef Michel Troigros craft his siganture salmon dish with sorrel sauce.  I think I could pull it off fairly well-the salmon is cut thin and only touches a hot pan for less than a minute.  The challenge for me will be to find fresh sorrel.  I've seen it a few times at one of the few upscale markets we have but I'll venture out and see what I can find.  Maybe our farmers market will have sorrel once they open in a few weeks.

 

 

I am trying to master this dish.  I see Sorrel in Whole Foods right now, and it is salmon season, so I was thinking of making another go at this later this week.

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@liamsaunt

 

I'm not a big fan of cooked salmon, but that is a very appealing plate and great photograph.

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While salmon is a staple in Japan, I haven't found many recipes where salmon is used in countries in Southeast Asia.  Is it just a matter of the waters being too warm to support salmon or is it just not as popular as other fish?  

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10 minutes ago, David Ross said:

While salmon is a staple in Japan, I haven't found many recipes where salmon is used in countries in Southeast Asia.  Is it just a matter of the waters being too warm to support salmon or is it just not as popular as other fish?  

Southeast Asia is tropical - so I don't think salmon would do well there. In the western hemisphere, consider if you would find salmon in the caribbean or in hawaii...

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40 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Southeast Asia is tropical - so I don't think salmon would do well there. In the western hemisphere, consider if you would find salmon in the caribbean or in hawaii...

Good point.  When I've been in Hawaii I was always suspect of salmon on restauranthet menus.  I think, "why would I order salmon that's been flown in from thousands of miles instead of ordering fresh, local Hawaiian fish."  

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