Chinese Red Pepper and Orange Smoked Salmon Recipe
Regards from Finland,
2 Salmon boneless fillets; 2 - 3 pounds each
1 Part coarse salt (or kosher salt)
1 Part sugar
Chinese red pepper (szechuan or sichuan pepper)
4 - 6 oranges
Cognac or brandy
In a small bowl, mix equal amounts of salt and sugar together; what amount is not used can be stored and used at a later time.
Check fillets for pin bones, and remove them using needle nose pliers. Place both fillets skin side down; dust lightly and evenly with coarse salt/sugar mixture, or apply according to your taste.
Cover the fillets with Chinese red pepper (they are not spicy), then slice 2 to 3 oranges for each fillet and cover the fillets with orange slices.
Reserve one whole orange, and with that orange cut it in half, squeeze some juice all over the fillets.
Next, sprinkle a little bit of good whiskey or brandy (Cognac) on the top.
Cover both fillets with plastic wrap, skin side down, and put them in the refrigerator 40°F (4°C), with some weights on top, and refrigerate for 24 hours. For weight, you can either place a cast iron pan on top, a cookie sheet with a few cans of food on top, or other type of weight.
After 24 hours, take the fillets out of the refrigerator, and unwrap. Using a plastic or wooden spatula, scrape the tops of the fillets to remove the peppers and the “residue”. Do not soak or rinse the fillets.
Place fillets back into the refrigerator, uncovered, and allow them to air dry about 4 to 6 hours. Remove fillets from the refrigerator, and place fillets in the smoker.
During the first hour, I bring the temperature to about 150°F (66°C).
After the first hour, apply smoke and continue to cook for about 3 hours, keeping the temperature at 150°F (66°C) until done. Thicker fish requires a longer smoking time.