If you talk to most people about smoked salmon, they will immediately think of a cold smoke treatment done to large filets of Atlantic Salmon. Then very thinly sliced and served in a number of favourite ways. Bagels and cream cheese in New York or with a creamy dill sauce in Scandinavia.
Here on the West Coast of British Columbia we like to eat Pacific Wild Salmon in the same way as the Indigenous people have done for thousands of years. That is a hot smoke treatment that yields a dry, firm fish which is well-preserved. Both the type of fish and the method of smoking combine together in a way that is very tasty.
At the age of ten, my grandparents moved from Calgary to Vancouver Island. On the many visits we enjoyed over the years, home-made smoked salmon was always in our midst. We might have sandwiches, a bit on crackers with cheese, or just a simple plate of smoked salmon. It became so highly coveted in my family that, depending on the size of piece you received as a gift, was your preference or standing in the family.
When I made my way out to Vancouver as a young woman and married into a West Coast family, my supply of smoked salmon has never been in question. My husband catches the fish and does all the preparation associated with smoking it. Now my children get to enjoy as much as they can take in a sitting, (which is a fair amount). This seems a luxury that I would have surely enjoyed at their age as I do now.
The recipe will not be included today. Suffice to say that these are guarded as closely as all other family secrets. But, you can see by the photo that we “steak” the salmon first. Which makes preparation much easier. However, the eater or chef has to watch out closely for the bones!
Other posts about Pacific Salmon: