Your going to love these smoked salmon bellies. We caught these on the banks of the Kenai river in Alaska. We love to go there every few years to reconnect with the nature. Reset our busy lives and live the best life we can.
Smoked salmon Bellies
For the Brine:
2 pounds salmon bellies, skin-on
4 cups cold water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried dill (optional)
Maple or alder wood chips, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
Lemon slices (for garnish, optional)
Prepare the Salmon Bellies:
Rinse the salmon bellies under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Remove any bones or scales.
Prepare the Brine:
In a large bowl, combine cold water, kosher salt, brown sugar, soy sauce, maple syrup (or honey), minced garlic, black pepper, and dried dill. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.
Brine the Salmon:
Place the salmon bellies in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
Pour the brine over the salmon, ensuring it is fully submerged. Seal the bag or cover the dish, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat the Smoker:
Preheat your smoker to a temperature of 180-200°F (82-93°C).
Remove Salmon from Brine:
Remove the salmon bellies from the brine and pat them dry with paper towels. Let them air dry for about 15-30 minutes.
Smoke the Salmon:
Place the salmon bellies on the smoker rack, skin side down.
Add the soaked wood chips to the smoker box or directly on the coals.
Smoke the salmon for about 2-3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C). The skin should be crispy, and the flesh should be opaque and flaky.
Carefully remove the smoked salmon bellies from the smoker.
Garnish with lemon slices if desired.
Let it cool slightly before serving.
Serve your smoked and brined salmon bellies as an appetizer, on a bagel with cream cheese, or alongside a salad. The combination of the brine and the smoky flavor should result in a delicious and savory dish.