Alaska Salmon Candy

When cured overnight, basted with a complex brown sugar, maple syrup, liquid smoke and soy sauce mixture and then slowly baked in the oven, strips of salmon become a dry, salty-sweet snack with just a hint of smoke. Rich Alaskan King Salmon is perfect for this drying and smoking process, which results in unique, addictively tasty jerky.

Recipe courtesy Young Sun Huh for Cooking Channel
TOTAL TIME: 18 hr 40 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: 12 hr 30 min
Cook: 6 hr
 
YIELD: 7 strips of salmon
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 pound skinless Alaskan King salmon fillet, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
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Directions

Whisk the granulated sugar and salt in a bowl. Spread one-third of the mixture in an 8-by-8-inch dish. Place the salmon strips on top in one layer. Completely cover the strips with the remaining sugar-salt mixture. Refrigerate for 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees F. Remove the salmon strips from the curing mixture and carefully scrape off as much as possible. Blot dry all over with a paper towel. Arrange the salmon strips, spaced apart, on a rack set on a foil-lined baking sheet. Let the salmon air-dry at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, soy sauce and liquid smoke in a bowl. Baste the salmon strips with the glaze and place in the oven. Continue to baste and turn the salmon strips every hour. In the last hour, don't glaze the salmon, but sprinkle the strips with the black pepper. Cook the salmon in the oven until the outside of the salmon is tacky to touch from the glaze but hardened, a total of 6 hours. It shouldn't be completely dry like jerky. Eat at room temperature and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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