Candy Smoked Salmon
If you travel through BC, you'll likely see a whole lot of roadside signs for something called candy smoked salmon. Folks around here just call it candied salmon, though I've also seen it called “salmon candy” and “Indian candy.” Whatever the name it goes by, if you have the chance to try this delicacy don't pass it up!
What is Candy Smoked Salmon?
Candied salmon is a ready-to-eat treat that used to be made as a type of “ travelling food ” (like Pemmican) in areas where the fish is common. Even here in the British Columbia Interior, salmon are an important part of our ecosystems. And the First Nations people who have lived here for generations have taught us to prepare it so we can eat it on the go.
If you like smoked salmon and you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you'll love this stuff! It's a chewy chunk of salmon that's been treated in a very sweet brine before smoking. It's safe to eat as is, because the smoking process cooks it through. If you like cream cheese and lox on your morning bagel, give Indian candy a try!
What Does Candied Salmon Taste Like?
The taste depends largely on what went into the brine, but also to some extent on what type of wood was used in the smoker. Some recipes call for a mild wood like alder or apple in the smoker, but here in cherry country you might just get fish that's been smoked using a sweet, delicate cherry wood .
As for the brine, most recipes call for dark brown sugar. Many add maple syrup, and I saw one that had a trifecta of brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey. Now you know that's going to be sweet! Some folks like to add a little bit of onion or garlic to their recipe, and some start with a commercially prepared rub. The salmon I had this week (courtesy of the wonderful k_mccormick2 ) was prepared with crushed chili peppers , so it was less sweet but it had a lovely heat to it.
Making Candied Salmon at Home
If you can't find this West Coast delicacy near you, candied salmon can be made at home. It takes up to a full day for the salmon to cure in the brine, so don't do this when you're in a rush. If you don't have access to a smoker, you can get the wood chips and rig up a makeshift smoker for your stovetop .
Image Credit » http://mollie-rose.deviantart.com/art/Salmon-Bites-313284098