Smoked Salmon “Candy”

Smoked salmon candy is a delicacy that Alaskans take very seriously. We still dream about slowly biting into that first fleck of smoked salmon, perfectly seasoned and slathered in maple syrup. Our visiting anglers are always blown away by Lee’s “candy,” one of the best Alaska salmon recipes within 100 miles.

  1. Mix 2 cups kosher salt, 1 lb brown sugar, 3 tbsp peppercorn, 2 tbsp ground coriander, and 2 tbsp granulated garlic.
  2. Find a lidded container large enough to hold 5 lbs of skin-on salmon collars, bellies, or fillets cut into 2-inch thick strips. Tupperware works well.
  3. Lay down a layer of the mixture about 1/4 inch deep. Put a layer of salmon down on this, skin side up.
  4. Cover the salmon with more of the mixture. If you need a second layer of salmon, make sure the layer of the mixture between them is thick enough so that the pieces of salmon are not touching. Basically, you are burying the salmon in the mixture.
  5. Cover and let cure in the fridge overnight.
  6. Remove the salmon from the cure, which will get wet, and briefly rinse the fish under cold water.
  7. Pat dry with a paper towel and set the salmon on a drying rack, skin side down. Let them dry in a breezy place for 2 hours, or in the fridge, uncovered, overnight. You are doing this to form a pellicle on the salmon, which helps it smoke properly, this is a crucial step.
  8. Traditionally, salmon candy is cold-smoked for several days, which is ideal. However, smoking at 180 degrees for at least 3 hours, and up to 8 hours, if you like your salmon candy harder and smokier, is a great alternative.
  9. Every 90 minutes to 2 hours, paint the salmon with maple or birch syrup. This also helps to remove any albumen (the icky white stuff) that can form between the fish flakes if your smoker gets too hot too fast. Enjoy your delicious smoked salmon candy hot or cooled.

Now that you have a taste of Executive Chef Christopher Lee’s smoked salmon candy and can see what his talented culinary team are serving here at Nushagak River Adventures Lodge, we hope that you give us a call at 1-877-876-NUSH (6874) to learn more about one of the premier Alaska salmon fishing lodges in Bristol Bay. Check out more recipes from Chef Chris plus these other great salmon recipes.