Monday, February 25, 2013

Homemade Salmon Jerky: Take 2

The adventure of dehydrating salmon continues! When we last spoke of salmon jerky, my friend Deanna and I attempted to make a batch using a modified Alton Brown recipe. The salmon tasted good, but it wasn't what I would call jerky. It was more of a salmon treat, and less of that distinctive sweet and chewy texture. After several tweaks, I think we have a winner!

First attempt at salmon jerky

My major complaints from the last batch was that the pieces were way too thick; it wasn't sweet enough and it needed more pepper. To fix these problems I made several changes. First, I bought two different kinds of salmon to see which would turn out better: fresh salmon and smoked salmon. I bought a small piece of fresh salmon and had Dan slice it sashimi-thin. I was incredibly impressed with his knife skills.

I also bought a small pack of smoked salmon and carefully separated the pieces.

The second change I made was in the marinade. I make a simple teriyaki sauce using this recipe. Then I added a whole lot of freshly ground pepper.

I let the fish marinate overnight. I kept the fresh and smoked salmon separate so I could see which turned out better in the end.

The next morning it was off to Deanna's and her wonderful dehydrator.

Fish in the dehydrator

This time, instead of the fish taking 13 hours (!!), it only took 3. Miracle of miracles. And, it was perfect! So sweet, peppery and chewy!

Both the fresh and smoked salmon turned out great, but I prefer the smoked version. It gives it an extra dimension that I really enjoyed. The bonus is that it already comes pre-sliced. This recipe will definitely be a keeper!

Salmon Jerky

  • 1 small package of smoked salmon
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  1. Separate salmon pieces and cut into chunky strips.
  2. Place all ingredients except for cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a sauce pan and heat.
  3. Mix cornstarch and cold water and dissolve in a cup. Add to sauce in pan.
  4. Heat until sauce thickens. It does not need to be very thick.
  5. Place salmon in a tupperware container and pour marinade over salmon. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. Lay salmon slices on dehydrator tray in rows, making sure pieces are not touching.
  7. Place trays in dehydrator and cook 2-3 hours until salmon is dry and chewy but not crunchy.

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