Smoked Sockeye Salmon

For most of the 80’s I was getting ready for a monthly seafood event. There was little in the culinary world of up to the 80’s that was left unexplored for the elite members of Tucson society even well into the early 90’s.

Baked, roasted, broiled, boiled, steamed, braised, pickled, fried, raw, we filled rows of banquet tables with nearly every ethnic, etc. style of food and decorative element imaginable.

Once again, this was the 80’s. I spent the majority of that decade, plus some, at Skyline Country Club. I worked there starting as wait staff, then moved into the kitchen, always working the summers on the wait staff, but gradually expanding my skills in the every other aspect of the club’s services.

I have so many memories of this time that I’d love to share. I’m going to start off with one of my favorite smoked salmon recipes. Like so many things I have a love/hate relationship with this recipe.

Depending on predictions based on the the previous year’s numbers we would smoke anywhere from a ten to a few dozen sockeye fillet’s.

It’s been nearly 40 years but I decided last week it was time to resurrect this recipe for smoked sockeye salmon. It always started with a dry brine. I was gar de mange @ SCC. One part kosher salt and three parts light brown sugar. Enough to coat the salmon about a 1/4″. 12-24 hours later gently wipe the filet clean. Prep the filet to dry age for 12-24 hours.

Skin side down of course.

We broke down full salmon to consistent fillets for days getting ready for the monthly Seafood Extravaganza.

Yikes. The pin bones.

Seriously, think abut the pin bones for 40+ fillet’s.

I had a pair of needle-nose pliers I used to take care of the bones.

Fresh mango/lime salsa, steamed sprouts and smoked salmon.