I’ve always wanted to home-smoke. But I bought the wrong type of barbecue and lighting up an entire barbecue for myself just seems wrong. And then stove-top smokers were always too expensive. Until I found one for about a quarter of the price a few weeks ago at my local supermarket.
Smoke ‘m if you’ve got it
The first thing I decided to smoke was salmon. The main reason being, salmon isn’t hugely expensive so if you fuck it up you won’t feel too bad about it and, provided you do it right, there’s nothing wrong with some smoked salmon.
For me the salmon comes out a little too heady to have on it’s own, but if you break it down in flakes it’s perfect for salads or for these awesome Japanese-inspired loaded fries.
I’d love to use salmon or trout roe for this, or even actual caviar, but I’m broke so I use imitation caviar. Which is still an amazing mouth party of umami-goodness (and also not that cheap, but cheaper).
Also be sure to find gim-gui, Korean roasted seaweed, it’s flavored with sesame oil and and roasted so it packs a lot more punch than plain nori.
If you don’t have a smoker, Saveur has a pretty good how-to for building your own stove top smoker.
Luxury loaded fries with smoked salmon
- Bowl and a plate with a slightly smaller diameter than the bowl
- Wood chips of choice, I use hickory - 1 c/ 125 gr
- Stove-top smoker, or build your own with the linked in the notes
- Oven or deep fat fryer depending on your choice of fries
To smoke your own salmon
- 2 filets salmon skin on, this makes them easier to handle
- 1 tbsp - 15 gr salt coarse salt preferred
- 1/2 T - 7 gr black pepper
- 1/2 t - 2.5 gr coriander
- 1/2 t - 2.5 gr pink peppercorns dry roasted and smashed
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 T - 30 ml olive oil
For the loaded fries
- fries whichever kind you like, in the amount you like, I use about 5 oz - 150 gr of fries a head
- 1 sheet gim-gui Korean roasted seaweed
- 2 T - 30 ml Kewpie mayo mix a pinch of MSG into French mayo if you can't find this
- 2 t - 10 gr wasabi the fake stuff is fine
- 2 T - 30 gr fish eggs imitation caviar and salmon roe are my faves but you do you
Smoke your salmon
- Immerse 1 c - 125 gr of wood chips in water, making sure the wood chips stay submerged. The easiest way to submerge them is to place them in a bowl, cover them with water, and because they float, top them with a plate.
- While the wood chips are soaking, make a dry rub combing 1 T - 15 gr of salt, 1/2 T - 7 gr of black pepper, 1/2 t - 2.5 gr of coriander and 1/2 t - 2.5 gr of dry roasted pink peppercorns.
- Rub 2 salmon filets in 2 T - 30 ml of olive oil and the juice of 1 lime, before coating it in the rub, shaking off any excess, and leave to sit at room temperature for 1 hour alongside the soaking wood chips.
- When you are ready to smoke, be sure to have your hood extractor running on high and have a few windows open as most smoker’s leak and the smell tends to linger for a few days if you don’t catch it in time.
- Now, drain the wood chips and smoke your salmon as per your smoker manufacturer’s instructions for 10-20 minutes depending on the level of doneness you’d like on your fish. I like to go for 15 minutes to get it fully cooked through while remaining moist and luscious.
To make the Japanese inspired loaded fries
- Prepare the fries according the the package instructions, or however you like to make fries. I think making my own is way too much hassle so I use oven fries, which work fine for me.
- Flake your smoked salmon carefully. Or just stomp it to the desired consistency. Whatever you prefer. I just like to flake it to retain some texture.
- Mix 2 t - 10 gr of wasabi with the 2 T - 30 ml of Kewpie mayo. Or keep them separate for added oomph. If you're not that into wasabi add little bits at a time and taste to find a heat level that is acceptable to you.
- Crumble 1 sheet of gim-gui into small pieces.
- Divide the salmon flakes, Kewpie-wasabi mayo (or Kewpie and wasabi), the crumbs of gim-gui and the imitation caviar or salmon roe over the fries. Eat up. Feel great.