Salmon Smoked with Green Tea

This was salmon week at Hakos No.4. We had salmon ceviche, salmon tacos (twice), and the previous week we had gravad lax. And now, there was still one last piece left in the fridge. Mmm what to do? Not an easy question to answer if you live in a meat producing country where fish normally comes in a tin with horrible tomato or – even worse – chili sauce. But now fresh salmon from Norway swam into town and we’re like kids with new toys. It just that the toys came with no instructions …

In Asia people smoke chicken and fish in their woks using tea leaves, rice and sugar. Although they commonly use green tea, any tea will do, as long as it is unflavored. And stay away from those prescribed for constipation. So I decided to give it go. Here’s how you do it.

Salmon smoked with green tea

Line your wok with aluminum foil. If you don’t, you’ll destroy your wok … easy as that. Mix a quarter to half a cup of green tea leaves with the same quantity white rice and two tablespoons sugar (white or brown, it does not really matter). Add to the bottom of you foil-covered wok. Place the fish which you have seasoned with salt and white pepper on a grid or tray over the the tea mixture, but do not let it touch the bottom. Seal the wok with its lid and make sure it fits tightly. No smoke should escape.

Put over high heat and smoke for about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. The fish will flake easily when cooked. Set aside to cool. Now, at this point you’ll understand why the foil is so important. If you have done this correctly, you simply lift out the foil and discard. If not, I suggest you discard the wok as well.

Use the smoked fish for pastas, or have it with lemon juice on rye toast, or as I will do for lunch tomorrow, have it with dill and potato salad. Cheers!


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