Salmon Candy

Getting ready for the brine

A few years ago Celeste and I visited the wonderful city of Vancouver, Canada.  During out stay we stopped by Granville Island and came across a smokehouse selling Salmon Candy, I'm don't remember what they called it, but it reminded me a Pig Candy, so I called it Salmon Candy.  A few days ago I was in the store and for some reason when I saw the salmon I thought of that trip and decided it was time to recreate that wonderful taste. I checked out the internet for recipes and there appears to be just one recipe for for Salmon Candy.  And if there's only one recipe out there on the world wide web then it must be what I'm looking for.  Well, it wasn't as good as the Granville Island Salmon Candy so I'll have to keep trying. The final product was a little too salty and didn't have the sweetness that I was hoping for.  The saltiness I think I can get rid of by rinsing and soaking a little longer after the brine.  Or maybe a shorter brine.  Instead of 24 hours maybe cut it down to 12 hours.  As for the sweetness.  It just didn't come out.  I even put a layer of brown sugar on at the end just to try and get some more sweetness.  Just didn't work. Any suggestions?

Salmon Candy

  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1 cup pickling salt
  • 2 cups dark dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup real maple syrup
  • salmon, cleaned
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup water

Put half the water in in a bowl in the freezer.  Add remaining water to a pan on the stove and heat slightly.  You want the water warm, not hot.  When the water is warm add the salt, sugar and syrup and stir to dissolve.  Let it sit for a couple minutes to make sure all the solids are dissolved.  Then add the water from the freezer.  This should get your water back to almost room temperature.  If the water is still warm to the touch at all let it cool.

Put your salmon in a large bowl or dish and cover with your brine liquid.  Let the salmon brine for 24 hours.  Remove from brine and rinse completely.  You want to get as much salt off the fish as possible.

Cold smoke until done.  Not like jerky, but firm and flaky.  I used apple wood.  The last half the smoke baste with the honey mixed with water.  This will give you the candy texture.



5 Comments on Salmon Candy

  1. I will try contacting my BIL Larry, he is on duty right now, but, when he gets home, I will ask him for his smoked salmon (sometimes called squaw candy) recipe that he actually learned from a Yurok woman up north. Here is the one I use.

    Bob’s Smoked Salmon
    1 gallon water(no chlorine)
    1 cup sea salt (not iodized)
    1 cup brown sugar
    black pepper as desired

    Mix well. Soak salmon for 2 to 3 hours, allow to hang dry or dry on racks for 4 to 6 hours until pellicle forms. Cold smoke in a large smoker with good air circulation until color and dryness reached desired level.

    Did you know that in Alaska, the Inuit smoked salmon is actually brined in sea water and not flavored with anything but smoke and sea water. If you think about it, where would the Inuit and North Coast tribes get Indonesian black pepper and brown sugar?

  2. Larry, I spoke with my sister about their method of smoking salmon. They do not use a brine, they rub the salmon with a mix of salt and black pepper, light on the pepper. Let it sit for a few hours, then brush off excess salt and let dry. There is no visible salt left on the salmon. It is then smoked over alder only until light mahogany color is established. They are cooking to just barely cooked, then they can it. The outside is smoky and dryish, while the inside is very moist, canning cooks it the rest of the way. My sister reminded me that the native culture up there leaves the center of the fish rather moist with a darker surface.

  3. There is a recipe in Karen Putman’s Championship BBQ Secrets for Real Smoked Food. She brines the filets in a slush made of 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup maple syrup, and 1/4 cup water for 12 hours, (does not pat dry after) then cuts them into 2 inch wide strips and dips them into (1 cup poured into a bowl of) syrup before smoking.

    so it is 4 x 4 oz. filets
    1 1/4 cups maple syrup
    1/4 cup kosher salt

  4. Cut salmon when almost thawed into slices equally, brine in water, salt,yoshidas gourmet sauce, soy sauce, keep cool for 12 hours rinse each piece separately and dry, put on racks for the smoker, get a fan and dry fish until glossy, like candy, I use a big chief smoker and use three pans of lad wood, enjoy…as close to candy as you can ger

  5. I’ve seen it as Squaw Candy.

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