Prize winning Smoked Salmon

by Millie Bentley

Greetings! Most folks are in the midst of gathering and storing food for winter – drying fish. A busy time. Always reminds me that I need to share Joe Newhouse’s recipe for smoked salmon. Some time in the early 80’s I met Joe, a fellow CPA who was working here in Bethel as a “junior”. Later on, after I had moved to Bethel from Juneau, Joe gave me a very special smoked salmon recipe. During the summer of 2000 he smoked some Yukon Kings which were, according to Joe, “the best I’ve ever tasted”. The judges at the Alaska State Fair thought it was almost the best too, because it was awarded 2nd prize. Almost every year we’ve published the recipe so here it is.
Newhouse Smoked Salmon
2 cups brown sugar
¾ cup uniodized salt
2 tablespoons seasoning salt
3 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Obtain a decent smoker (hot smoke).
Filet salmon and cut into pieces about 6” x 3” x 3/4” or whatever size suits your needs. Layer chunks in a sealable bucket or container, sprinkling generous portions of dry brine on each layer. Soak fish in container in refrigerator for 12 hours; flip over and soak for another 12 hours. Remove salmon from brine, pat off excess with towel and layer on smoking racks. Smoke 4 to 8 hours depending on the smoker, how thick your fish is and how dry you want it.
In a large smoker, some of the fish may not be completely cooked, so it can be baked on a broiler rack in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes at 400.
At this point, fish may be:
1) Eaten (my favorite choice).
2) Vacuum sealed and refrigerated up to 1 – 2 weeks before eaten.
3) Vacuum sealed and frozen up to 1 year.
Canned. See canning instructions which come with pressure cooker or stop by the Cooperative Extension Service for a free copy of the excellent pamphlet on canning fish.
The nice thing about this recipe, other than the fact that the fish is delicious, is that it doesn’t require the fish to be rinsed, thus helping us water-poor folks. My son Geof uses this same recipe to smoke albacore and yellowtail. Again, Joe, thanks for the recipe.
Until next week, dear Reader, vaya con Dios.