Smoked Marlin

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Mar 20, 2007
Honolulu, Hawaii
Anyone here ever try smoking this type of game fish? I'm trying to figure out what the secret is to giving it that sort of jerky-like texture. The last time I tried it, it came out too flakey and "loose".

Here's Nate, cutting a whole slab out from one they just caught over at The Shack in Hawaii Kai. That's ALOT of Marlin!...


Maybe I need to brine, then dry it out first? Any suggestions or comments would be great. Mahalo!
FISH ON! Nice catch! I went through the jerky thread and the fish thread but didn't see anything (I was looking for salmon jerky as a starting point). I googled marlin jerky and found the below...I found a couple others for fish jerky (salmon, tuna, marlin) and most all said to smoke between 90 - 100 degrees.

Step 1 - catch one
Step 2 - Filet into 1' long chunks. Remove dark meat & save for bait. Slice the remaining meat into strips 1.5"x1 foot.
Step 3 - Prepare marinade in ratios provided
* 1 quart Kikkoman soy sauce
* 1 lb. dark brown sugar
* 2 cloves /or 1teaspoon garlic salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* Other spices if desired: thyme,cayenne, whatever.

Step 4 - Marinate in 1 gallon ziplocks for 24 hours. Drip/dry on racks for 2-3 hours.
Step 5 - Hang in Smokey Joe on "S" shaped coat hanger hooks of lengths from 1" to 7". Strips are hung from top of smoker at different levels to maximize space. If loaded properly, smoker can accommodate 50 pieces!
Step 6 - Smoking: Add hickory chips. Intervals of 4 hours between changing is the norm. Because the heat in the smoker rarely is over 100 degrees, you might want to cover with a burlap sack if it is cold outside. Time in smoker till jerky-like, can take as much as 48 hours.
Step 7 - Enjoy! This jerky is non-fishy and many who have tried it claim that it is comparable or better than the best deer jerky they have ever tasted!
Thanks for the dig Shellbellc!

I should have noted more specifically that the texture of the smoked marlin we're familiar with here in Hawaii (at least the GOOD ones) are flavorful and semi-moist/semi-dry, with just a slight firmness and toughness of Jerky, but not TOO tough. It's a rather sensitive balance of all that, depending on a each individual's personal taste I suppose.

That recipe/method you pasted looks like a good starting point though. Especially since it uses Soy Sauce (shoyu), sugar, along with a few basic additions that are commonly used for smoking here in the islands.

One thing I didn't do was drip/dry the marlin before smoking. I'll try that next time. Thanks again!
That was actually on the medium-end in comparison to other Marlins they've caught in waters off Oahu's east coast, weighing in at 220 lbs, IIRC. Not small though, that's for sure!

Lomi Salmon uses salted salmon (not smoked), but you know what? Lomi Marlin sounds interesting! I suppose if you salt the marlin like you would Salmon, then dice and mix it with tomato, maui onions and green onions it might be pretty good!

Then again, I believe Salmon is a fatty (oily) fish meat, which probably explains why it's traditionally done with that species. Marlin (white flesh) is considered semi-fatty, depending on the size and type of Marlin.
Marvin -

I don't do fish. I'm the only one in the house that'll eat it except canned tuna. I used to get a lot flatfish and flouder but not anymore. I love teriaki butterfish though wish we could get some here! Even Cod here goes for about $9 / lbs. That's usually my eatting out treat.

Nope fish and game meats I don't get anymore.
when i make my dry aku or ahi i use a couple dehydrators. put fish in dehydrators for about and hour or so to dry the surface moisture. smoke will adhere to dry surface of fish better..i smoke for about a hour or so. depends on how much smoke you like. after that back into the dehydrators to get the firmness and toughness you talking about.. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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