Salmon or Steelhead Candy

For those that love sweet and salty treats, this maple smoked candy salmon is to die for

Salmon or Steelhead Candy
Salmon or Steelhead Candy

Makes about 1½ pounds

Equipment: 4 to 6 cups of wood chips or chunks, preferably alder or maple, soaked in water to cover for 1 hour, then drained.

Ingredients:

  • 2- to 3-pound salmon fillet, skinless, preferably center-cut and wild-caught
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B, plus more for glazing the fish
  • 1 quart spring water

Directions:


Run your hand over the fillet to check for pin bones. Remove any you find with kitchen tweezers or needle-nose pliers.


Using a sharp knife, slice the salmon against the grain into strips about 1/2 inch wide and 4 to 5 inches long. (For chewier salmon candy, slice the fish lengthwise with the grain.) Transfer to a sturdy resealable plastic bag and place the bag in a bowl or baking pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup maple syrup. Add the water and stir until the sugar and salt crystals dissolve. Pour this mixture over the salmon and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

Drain the salmon and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Drain well in a colander and blot dry. Discard the brine.

Set up the grill for indirect grilling. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to low, then toss 1 cup of the wood chips or chunks on the coals. If using a smoker, fire it up according to the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to low.


When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. (Salmon has a tendency to stick, so do not skip this step.) Smoke the salmon over low heat (180 to 200 degrees), replenishing the wood chips or chunks as needed, for 3 hours. Brush the salmon pieces with maple syrup, turning as needed. Continue to smoke for 1 to 2 hours more or until the salmon is dried to your satisfaction, glazing once or twice more with the maple syrup.

Allow the salmon to cool completely, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate. The candy will keep for at least 5 days, and likely a good deal longer.

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