Pacific Smoked Salmon

Written by Jared Vincenti
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Pacific Salmon were a integral part of the diet of Native Americans, as their annual migrations made them easy to catch. Modern dietitians are rediscovering the salmon, as its high levels of protein and omega-3 fatty acids make it a healthy choice. A favorite among dieters, too, salmon can be prepared in many ways and is a very versatile food in the healthy kitchen.

Types of Smoked Salmon

While salmon can be grilled, baked, or broiled as a steak, it can also be smoked in a variety of ways. Salmon smokeries are growing up around the Pacific Northwest, and are a popular source of supplemental income in areas where salmon is cheap and plentiful. These smokehouses usually sell their wares online, and even smoked salmon keeps very well frozen.

All types of smoked salmon involve the fresh salmon meat being soaked in a brine solution. This brine is usually made of water with salts, brown sugars, and spices (dill is a favorite). After curing in the brine, the meat is smoked on racks, gaining additional flavor from the woodsmoke. Depending on how the meat is smoked, a variety of products can result.

If the meat is smoked at a high temperature, it cooks and becomes hot smoked salmon. If it smokes and dries for a period of a few days, it becomes a salmon jerky, also known as kippered salmon. Finally, if the smoking process is kept to about room temperature, it flavors the meat without cooking it. This results in cold smoked salmon, also called lox, which is usually used as a spread.

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