There’s a lot you can do with smoked salmon. This fatty fish is a pricey delicacy, but well worth the cost. You can enjoy smoked salmon on its own or use it in recipes starting from breakfast foods to fancy dinners.
Smoked salmon is a century old preserving method
Nowadays people smoke salmon to enjoy as a delicatessen product, but back when refrigeration was nonexistent, people smoked salmon and other fish to preserve the food.
The ancient people were the first to discover that smoking preserves food for an extended period of time. They used salt and high temperatures to preserve salmon and enjoy the fish over the winter months.
Throughout history, smoked salmon remained a luxury item, but that doesn’t mean that people ate it scarcely. Native Americans enjoyed it often, so did the Greeks and the Romans, and the food remains an integral part of people’s diet to this day.
How to enjoy smoked salmon
Many people prepare smoked salmon in the form of appetizers. This is one of the best ways to serve at parties and soirees.
As an appetizer, smoked salmon can include bagels, toasted bread or oatcakes that serve as bases, then cheese, seasonal fruits, roasted veggies, fresh cucumbers or honey as toppings, and this is just to name a few.
Depending on your own preferences, you can prepare any variation of smoked salmon appetizer. Only remember that smoked salmon pairs best with:
- Cream cheese
- Soy sauce
- Minced onions
- Alfredo sauce
- Cheddar cheese
How it’s made and how to smoke your own salmon
Smoking salmon starts with filleting, and then salting the fish, placing it in rock salt or salty substance for up to 24 hours.
Filleting is done either by hand, which is a more laborious work or with machines, which is a method often used in the industry.
A lot of the salmon that is smoked for commercial purposes has the bones removed before the smoking process, whereas some commercial salmon smokers leave the bones in for achieving better results.
The first method is used a lot in industrial processing, and you can tell the fish was processed this way if it comes with brown or darker color edges.
Next up is the actual smoking, which is traditionally done using oak, or oak and beech. After smoking, the salmon is sliced, usually using machines. Companies that sell smoked salmon prefer to invest in fast producing machines to increase production and sale.
The final step in the smoking process is packing the salmon. Vacuum packing is the standard method, and most producers use it. Other producers sell canned smoked salmon too.
If you want to make your own smoked salmon, the easiest method, commonly used by people all around the world is curing. Curing is not the same as actually smoking the fish, but it will give you hassle-free, good tasting fish.
Another thing you can do is hot-smoke salmon using a digital smoker. Choose a smoker that tells the temperature in the smoking chamber and lets you control the heat.