Home Smoked Salmon with Green Salad and Apple Vinaigrette

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 day 45 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 1 day
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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Home Smoked Salmon

3 cups hot water

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

4 tablespoons coarse or kosher salt

Pinch grated lemon zest

2 (4-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets

1 to 2 cups hickory or alder wood chips, for smoking

1/2 cup water

Olive oil, for garnish

Apple Vinaigrette

1 cup apple juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper

Pinch coarse or kosher salt

Dash apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons canola oil

Green Salad

4 to 6 frisee lettuce sprigs

2 large radishes, thinly sliced

1 small yellow beet, peeled and thinly sliced

Handful baby green beans, blanched

Handful baby arugula leaves

Handful fresh celery leaves

1/3 cup croutons, toasted and slightly crushed

Zest of 1/2 lemon, for garnish


Special equipment:
1 to 2 cups hickory or alder wood chips, for smoking
  1. To make the salmon: In a medium bowl or container, combine the hot water, brown sugar, white sugar, salt and lemon zest. Add the salmon, skin side up, to the brine, pressing it down to submerge. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. 
  2. Remove the salmon from the brine, and discard the liquid. Rinse the fillet under cold running water briefly to remove the excess salt. Place the salmon, skin side down, onto a rack. Let it stand until the top is dry to the touch, for about 1 hour. Do not pat dry. 
  3. To prepare your wok smoker: Lay 2 layers of foil in the bottom of a wok if you want to protect the pan from getting charred. Add 2 handfuls of wood chips to the wok and place it over high heat. Add the 1/2 cup water. 
  4. Position the bamboo steamer over top of the chips, and set the salmon fillets inside. 
  5. Cover the wok with a lid or aluminum foil, and let the salmon smoke for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until its flesh is firm to the touch, and its edges are brown, crustier and caramelized. 
  6. Remove the salmon from the steamer and transfer to a plate. Drizzle the smoked salmon with olive oil for garnish, and serve it alongside the salad. 
  7. To make the vinaigrette: Pour the apple juice into a small pot, then boil it on high to reduce the liquid by half. 
  8. Into a bowl, add the mustard and grind over some black pepper. 
  9. Add a nice pinch of coarse salt, then add a dash of the apple cider vinegar. Whisk in your reduced apple juice along with the canola oil. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary. 
  10. To make the salad: Toss the frisee, radishes, beets, green beans, arugula, and celery leaves into a bowl with just enough vinaigrette to barely moisten the leaves. 
  11. Partially crush your crunchy croutons by placing them into a bowl, then crunching them with the bottom of a second bowl. Then add them to the vegetables. 
  12. Grate a little lemon zest over the salad with a grind of black pepper. Give everything a final toss and plate.
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