37 comments on “Smoked Salmon with Soy Sauce and Brown Sugar Brine

  1. Barbara, I just checked out your site! I absolutely love your recipe. I just learned how to smoke salmon this Summer while in Naknek. I’m addicted and can’t wait to do it again! Thanks for posting this :)

  2. Thank you. I tried the recipe out with a few minor adjustments to what I had on hand. I was low on soy sauce so upped my salt and I used a garlic/ginger stir-fry paste. I did sneak a little molasses in there too. I used alder chips for my wood. The fish turned out awesome! Thank you for sharing! This was my first time trying to brine and smoke it myself. Usually the husband does it.

    • Thanks letting us know! In the past, we’ve used white sugar, honey and maple syrup as well as other seasonings (including spicy ones). Glad to hear of success with molasses. Good eating!

  3. Pingback: Smoked Salmon with Soy Sauce and Brown Sugar Brine | Dances with Redshoes

    • No, there is no specific temperature setting or adjustment for the Big Chief Front Loading Electric Smoker, which is the model I use. When the weather dips below 50 degrees F, wrap it in insulation, which you can buy already fitted to the Big Chief smoker.

  4. I followed your recipe using the stated amount of kosher salt and followed all the brine suggestions. I used a gas grill and use the hot side without grate to place applewood wrapped in foil atop screens over the flames set at lowest temp. Fish fillets on the cold side. My smoking time was around 2 hours with temps between 160 and 200 degrees towards the end. This was the best salmon I smoked in years without an actual smoker. Not too dry or to moist. I’ll try it with trout next. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hank, thanks for taking the time to comment and provide information. Much appreciated, and glad your fish came out good. We use this recipe with trout, and when I lived in Oregon, we used it with sturgeon as well.

    • The smoked fish will keep in the fridge for at least one week. If you vacuum pack it and store it in a manual defrost freezer, it will be good at least a year later. In an automatic defrost freezer, I’m guessing about three months.

  5. I am leaving in 2 weeks to take our annual trip to New York salmon fishing and we usually bring back 800 to 1000lbs of fillets and I am going to try your recipe.
    Sound good.

  6. looks like a go ! I’ve got 20 lbs of salmon to smoke and tonight is the night . I look forward to trying your reciepe , there will be one change though . when it comes to 8 cupes of water I will replace 4 of those cupes with dry white wine . Thanks for putting out your reciepe
    Rick

  7. Tried your receipt today and must say it produce some of the best smoked salmon we’ve had in a long time. And over the years we’ve had a good amount. Thanks!!

      • Got my hands on some Sable Fish (Black Cod) recently and you don’t need to smoke it nearly as long as salmon or trout. Might just be my favorite smoked fish ever. Soon as the meat begins to separate, remove it from the heat and let it cool. It should melt in your mouth with smoky goodness…. Hank

        • For the Black Cod, I coat with paprika just before smoking.
          For the Pacific Cod, after smoking, I like to poach it in whole milk and eat warm, cold or use it as a base for a smokey chowder.

    • Thanks for reading, Marcia. A good combination for smoked salmon starts with your favorite tomato based sauce topped with a blend of mozzerella cheese and mild cheddar cheese. In olive oil, sauté some sliced shitake mushrooms and thinly sliced garlic – tossing in a fistful of pine nuts toward the end if you have them on hand. Arrange the sautéed mushrooms and garlic onto of the cheese, then add the chunks of smoked salmon. We bake our pizzas on a pizza stone at 400 degrees F. for about 10 minutes. We often garnish our smoked salmon pizzas with strips of nori – dried seaweed. For a specific recipe for salmon pizza, see our post http://cutterlight.com/2012/01/17/alaska-silver-salmon-pizza/ or just type the word “pizza” in the search bar on any CutterLight article. Happy dining!

  8. Thanks for the recipe!! I made this in the spring and as others have stated – it’s the best I’ve eaten. And as I type, I have two more salmon in the brine waiting to go on my pellet smoker tomorrow. I used pecan pellets earlier and I’ll use the same this time. Only addition I did was a little black pepper and some cayenne pepper as well as I like a bit of a kick to it. This is a keeper for sure.

  9. I’ve made smoked salmon many times using different brines and yours is hands down the best ever. Thank you very much for sharing!

  10. Excited to try this recipe. Wondering about the last comment about salt. Any reason why I couldn’t cut salt out all together and really on soy sauce for sodium, or would it not be enough? Thanks!

    • Thanks for the question, Matt.
      Beaverton Oregon? I lived there for a short while before moving to Astoria – where I stayed for seven years. Are you smoking salmon, sturgeon or trout?
      Salt. Individual tastes vary. This recipe flies off the plate at parties. We’ve posted this recipe twice, and in the 30 or so comments from readers this was the first time we’d received feedback about the amount of salt. But we value input from everyone.
      I used to make this recipe with just soy sauce. So yes, you can cut the salt you use. You can do this a couple of ways:
      1) Simply cut the salt and follow the rest of the recipe the way it’s written. You may lose a couple of days off the shelf life of the smoked fish in the refrigerator, as part of the purpose of the salt is to preserve the fish. (By the way, you can freeze your smoked fish.)
      2) Use a little more soy sauce and a little less water. This results in a richer soy sauce flavor.
      We frequently experiment with this recipe. Chipotle or ancho peppers are a nice addition. So is a little Cholula sauce. Cutting the brown sugar in half and making up the difference with maple syrup is another tasty option. If you’ve got a fair amount of fish, you could do one batch one way and another batch another way and see what you and the people you serve it to think. Whatever you go with, we’d appreciate hearing how it worked. Happy fishing and smoking, Matt. Jack Donachy

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