One of the Better Candied Salmon Recipes we’ve come up with over the years.
Salmon Fillets (Coho, Chinook or Sockeye)
1/2 gallon of water
1/4 cup of coarse salt
3 & 1/2 cups of real maple syrup
4 kg of pure honey (melted)
4 kg of Demerra Sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Pre-mix the brine and let sit to let the flavours blend and sugar dissolve.
After removing bones and skin, cut salmon into thin strips ~ 1/2 to an inch wide, and 1/4 inch thick.
Place strips in brine for 24 hours.
Then remove each strip, do not wash off the brine as it forms the glaze, and pierce through one (heavier) end with 1/2 of a round toothpick (told ya this one was time-consuming!), and hang suspended on your grill. Space such that the strips do not touch each other, as they WILL fuse together, if you make that mistake! Here’s an example of what the grill looks like once prepped for drying:
Repeat the process until you’ve used up all the fish strips, and set in a cool place to dry. Fans will speed up this step. That often takes in excess of 24 hours. You can’t run the fans too close initially, or it will cause the strips to contact each other and fuse. Also be careful not to over-dry the product. Note that the strips should be basically translucent, as you can see the toothpick right through most of them. Here’s a shot of the individual strips:
In that picture, you can clearly see how translucent, almost see through the product becomes just before hitting the smoke. The texture (and indeed color) is VERY much reminiscent of the old “gummy bears” we used to eat as kids.
Now, into the Smoker
Then it’s into the smoker for a while. I find hickory a tad too strong for this recipe. A mix of 1/2 apple and 1/2 alder makes for a very smooth “velvety” flavour. Keep the heat somewhat low (~ 125) to avoid over-drying and scorching.
Remove from smoker and let cool. Then remove the toothpick from each strip and vacuum seal / freeze any you aren’t going to gobble up right away.
The finished product will still remain transparent, but it takes on a distinctly smokey flavour. YUMMY!