About this recipe:Native American Indians invented cooking on wooden planks. Try it to make your own smoked salmon! The fish absorbs the woody flavours and stays really moist. Don't worry, the wooden planks have been treated for cooking and are available online and in specialty kitchen shops. You will need a smoking box for best results.
A brine solution
1 (1.25kg) salmon fillet
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar
1 tablespoon water
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Soak the salmon fillet in a brine solution for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Also, submerge the wooden plank in water, placing a heavy object, such as a stockpot, on top of it to prevent floating.
Preheat an outdoor smoker to 70 to 80 degrees C.
Remove the salmon from the brine, rinse thoroughly under cold running water, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Remove the wood plank from the water, and lay the fish out on the plank. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Smoke the salmon for at least 2 hours, checking after 1 1/2 hours for doneness. The fish is done when it flakes with a fork, but it should also not be too salty. As the fish smokes, the salt content reduces. Adjust the cooking time and salty flavour to your taste.
During the last 30 minutes of smoking, mix together the dark brown soft sugar and water to form a paste. Brush this liberally onto the salmon.
A brine solution for fish is made with water, salt and other flavourings such as lemon, peppercorns or bay leaves.
Wooden planks and indoor smokers:
Smoking fish can take 2 to 6 hours as you are cooking at much lower temperatures than you would normally. It also depends on the size of the fish fillet.