Recently I had an occasion that called for that essential food of the BC coast, smoked salmon. I had some sockeye in my freezer that I decided to smoke. Normally I do not smoke sockeye, because it is the finest, richest salmon for eating as is, baked, fried, canned. Pinks and chums need smoking, in my opinion, it improves them greatly.
This time I smoked a sockeye. First I cut the fillets into 4 pieces. Then I dry rubbed it with brown sugar, black pepper, Garlic dash and a little sprinkle of my favourite salt substitute, Herbamare. I let it sit like that for a while, several hours.
I added to the marinade a mixture of dark rum and maple syrup, brushed onto the meat. I put the chunks meat side down in the liquid, which increased during the 6 hours I let it marinate for.
Then I placed it on racks in the smoker. Added maple chips first then hickory chips. I left it in the Little Chief smoker overnight, and as it ran out of chips, it continued to slow cook and the sauce dried onto the surface of the meat. In the morning, I added 2 more smoker loads of chips before deciding that it was smoked all the way through. Let it cool thoroughly and then refrigerate. It is a bit sweet and candied, but the sugar and rum helps preserve it through the process, like salt normally would have.
The end result is a deep rich looking red, translucent flesh that is opaque on the inside and smoked all the way through. It goes wonderfully crumbled on rice with tomato sauce, or on crackers with cream cheese. The marinating process adds no salt, the only salt in this smoked salmon is naturally occurring within the fish. This is how people on a low sodium diet can still enjoy one of the most famous traditional foods on the BC coast.
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