Friday, April 11, 2008

Pickled Salmon

Pickled Salmon
From: kaiwik

You need at least an entire (filleted and boned) half of a (preferably red, silver or king) salmon. If you have a whole salmon it needs to be filleted and boned.

Wash your fish and then dry it absolutely dry, patting with paper towels. Even a single drop of water will render the fish inedible.

You'll need a container for the fish to preferably lay flat. (I salt my fish by the five gallon bucketful, but you don't need that much fish for one batch.) Scatter a good couple of handfuls of coarse rock salt on the bottom of the container, place fish skin side down, scatter another couple handfuls of salt on top. If you are using more than one fillet put the second skin side up. If using even more fish, repeat skin down/skin up. Cover (to keep any debris out, it doesn't need to be airtight) and let set for at least one week at room temperature. The salt "cooks" the fish. When the fish has extruded it's juices and feels firm, it is time to proceed.

Remove fish and place in a large bowl, cover with cold water. This water will need to be changed frequently for up to 24 hours. Test the fish by tasting a small bit now and again, you want it to reconstitute, but be careful that you don't take it out too soon or it will be very salty, or too late as it will be bland.

Lay fish skin side down on a cutting board, and slice it into approximately 1 inch slices across the body of the fish. When you are done, take each slice, skin side down and run the blade of your knife closely between the meat and skin. It's easier than it sounds. Place fish in a non reactive container and throw the skin away.

Now it's time to mix your pickling liquid. You will need enough liquid to cover the strips of fish, and I go by taste, you want the mixture to be about 2/3 - 3/4 water to 1/3 - 1/4 vinegar. I recommend cider vinegar for it's mellow taste, but the type of vinegar is up to you. I don't know how well balsamic vinegar would work, as I have never tried it, but white vinegar is somewhat harsh to my taste. (Be careful, as too much vinegar will burn the fish and turn it mushy.) To this add a package of pickling spice, a handful of brown sugar, some Worcestershire sauce, perhaps a bit of soy. Pour this over the fish slices, cover and refrigerate for a day or two.

You will now need some clean jars with lids. Canning jars will do, as will glass mayonnaise type jars. I like to add carrot strips, sliced onions, sweet pepper slices and/or hot peppers (I use a whole jalapeño in each jar) as I pack my fish strips. Finish by topping the jar(s) with the pickling liquid. Cover and refrigerate for at least a week, two weeks is better.

Open a jar and munch on the fish and vegetables as a snack, or maybe an appetizer. Around here it doesn't last very long!

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