Monday, January 7, 2013

Homemade Salmon Jerky: Take 1

My friend Deanna got a dehydrator for Christmas and was debating what to make first. I threw out the idea of making salmon jerky. I first had it at Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle and loved it! It's sweet and peppery with a chewy texture. Trust me, it's much better than it sounds. Some people call it salmon candy.

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I had a really hard time finding a recipe for salmon jerky though. There are tons of sites for making beef jerky--but salmon, not so much. I used a modified version of Alton Brown's recipe, but truthfully I'm not thrilled with the results. Here's what I did and what I'm going to change for next time.

Salmon Jerky
Recipe adapted slightly from here
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh salmon fillets, skin and bones removed
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (I left this out, but might add it back in next time)
Directions:
  1. Place salmon fillets in freezer for 30 minutes (this makes them easier to slice)
  2. Mix soy sauce, molasses, lemon juice, pepper and liquid smoke together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Remove salmon from the freezer and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices length-wise. Then, slice the lengths in 3-4 inch long pieces.
  4. Place salmon in a gallon-sized ziplock bag and pour marinade over salmon. Seal bag and refrigerate 3-4 hours.
  5. Strain salmon well in colander. Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Lay salmon slices on dehydrator tray in rows, making sure pieces are not touching.
  6. Place trays in dehydrator and cook until salmon is dry and chewy but not crunchy.




The recipe I used said that it should only take 3-4 hours to cook. Ha! It took 13 hours! 

Salmon Jerky

I'm not totally pleased with the final result. It tastes good, but I want it sweeter, more pepper flavored, and chewier. The salmon pieces were way too thick, so next time I'll slice them almost sashimi-thin. I'm going to add brown sugar to the marinade and more pepper and lemon juice. I'm also going to let the salmon marinade overnight. I'll let you know how it turns out!


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