Weather: 26 degrees
What I’m listening to: Fix You, Coldplay
Springtime in our Alaskan fishing community means it’s the time of year when we use up your freezer stores from last year’s bounty to make room for this coming summer’s fresh catch. Several of our friends were just recently sitting around talking about how many halibut and salmon filets they had left, comparing notes, and discussing what they might do with what they had left. At our house, we enjoy smoking fish in our smoker (a gift from my in-laws) or making homemade jerky in our dehydrator (a gift from my grandmother). Side note: if you love a fisherman or fisherwoman, get him or her a smoker or a dehydrator. These are both well-used and well-loved tools in our home; we use them for much more than fish, too. But, more on that another day.
Pastor Alaska makes up a simple brine and soaks the salmon pieces in it until they’re all rich and peppery. Then, when the meat is well-marinated and full of flavor, he dehydrates it until it’s perfectly chewy and just the right texture. It’s a tasty and healthy protein-packed snack. My oldest son can eat several pieces in one sitting and loves it when I throw a couple in his lunch. And, when we took our most recent batch of jerky for snacks at small group, we came home with an empty container… they were all gobbled up.
P.S. Do you know the difference between filet and fillet? Which one is correct? The answer may surprise you. See here.
Adapted from Alton Brown
- 1 1/4 pound side of salmon, skin and pin bones removed
- 1/2c soy sauce
- 1T molasses
- 1T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2t freshly ground black pepper
- 1t liquid smoke
Place salmon filets in freezer for 30 minutes (this makes them easier to slice).
Meanwhile, mix soy, molasses, lemon, pepper, and liquid smoke together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Remove salmon from the freezer and slice the salmon in 1/4 inch thick slices length-wise. Then, slice the lengths in 3-4 inch long pieces, depending on the size of your filet.
Place the salmon in a one-gallon zipper bag and pour marinade over salmon. Seal bag and refrigerate 3-4 hours.
Strain salmon well in colander. Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Lay salmon slices on dehydrator trays in rows, making sure pieces are not touching.
Place trays in dehydrator at 145 degrees for 3-4 hours (time will vary depending on your dehydrator; see manufacturers instructions). Salmon jerky is done when salmon is dry and chewy, but not crunchy.