Vodka Cilantro Cold Smoked Salmon

Discussion in 'Fish' started by smokethefish, May 30, 2016.

  1. Hey All, So I've been browsing around a bunch and figured I'd make my foray into my own post over here.

    This is a recipe I've tried last week and it came out delicious. One mistake I made was vacuuming the product so it lost a lot of its vodka flavor and kick but otherwise, before it was vacuumed it was beyond delicious.

    So here is what I did:

    First thing is first, I am starting with a chilean 4 lb, skin on, trim D fillet (no bones)

    I put it in a 25* Salometer brine with brown sugar, 1/2 bottle of vodka, and a whole bundle of cilantro.

    I let it sit for 3 days upside down, then rebrined it again overnight in another 25* salometer with brown sugar, other 1/2 bottle of vodka, and bundle of cilantro.

    The reason I rebrined it was mainly for the bacteria and for the freshness, the cilantro can get modly and spoil over time, and, another reason for the rebrine was to add a final kick of the vodka. 
    There is a lot of science that a rebrine is stronger than keeping something in the same salt content for the same amount of time.

    Anyway, so that was the brining method. 

    Now for the smoking.

    I'm using a mauer-atmos, heat exchange gas powered oven with a friedrich woodchip electric generator. It's my own toy that's been jimmied the way I like it, and is optimal for high intensity smoke values and cold smoking.

    I dried it for about 4 hours at a house temp at 72* and then smoked it for 1.5 hours at 1300* smoke value and 70* house temp.

    This is what it came out to be.

    The reason for the cracks is because of the way I handled the fish while it was in brine. In a liquid brine you are supposed to mix the brine up a few times a day to add uniformity to the fish.

    It was beyond amazing, I hand sliced it of course and walked around buzzed for the large portion of my day. 

    crazymoon, dirtsailor2003 and disco like this.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Very nice!

    It looks delicious!

  3. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How does vodka feel like in the final product? Vodka really has no taste to impart to the fish.

    Hasn't evaporated during smoking?

    Smoked salmon flavoured that's something I would try.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks tasty! There are quite a few fish that this is done too. Either using vodka or gin. Usually not smoked or cooked after. Here is a gin recipe that I have floating around:

    Gin infused Salmon:

    1/2 cup fresh Dill, 1/3 cup each of brown and white sugar and Kosher salt.1/4 cup of a good Gin. 1 Tbsp Juniper Berries ground in a mortar, 1 Tbsp black peppercorns, zest of one Orange. All mixed well together and slathered on both sides of a nice fillet, skin removed, covered tight in plastic and another pan on top weighted heavy. In the fridge for 24 hours, then take the filet out of wrap and on parchment paper in the fridge for another 8-12 hours. Slice thin and serve.
  5. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Some great ideas.  Yum!

    SmokeTheFish, please explain the 1300* smoke value.
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  6. Thanks! It was delicious! It was very good, until I vacuumed it. It lost a TON of the flavor when it was vacuumed.
  7. Well no, it didnt evaporate, solely because I used the vodka as part of the brine so it was deep into the meat, and I cold smoked it so all the oils pretty much stayed in the fish without loosing too much moisture. Also, I didnt completely dry it because I wanted to retain the moisture.
    I've done other alcohols before in smoked salmon (cold smoked) the only alcohol that I have trouble with is beer, I don't seem to figure out how to get it to work properly. But I will definitely try the salmon, I'm not such a fan of just cured salmon but for some gin I could definitely take a try.
    Hey cmayna! Sure, basically, on my friedrich electric generator I have an air intake which allows me to control the power and intensity of the smoke, normally when hot smoking I'll put a lighter smoke but depending on how large the oven is, and the quantity of fish smoking it can vary.

    Anyway, the 1300 is pretty much the maximum amount of smoke intensity I can put on the oven, keep in mind I have intake and outtake with afterburners on the ovens so I do have a release damper when the smoke is released from. Also, the smoke value is kept to impart a thick and heavy smoke. The lower the value, the lighter the smoke. I can produce very thick and heavy smoke with the generators.  I'll take a video one of these days.
  8. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great smoke. Looks very nice!


  9. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ahhhhh,  thanks for the reply
  10. Thanks Disco!

    Nice to hear that from you! :) I'm actually prepping a tequilla cilantro cold smoke right now. Will post soon!
    My pleasure cmayna, love the questions, I work at a facility where everything is pretty advanced. So, I enjoy the feedback :)
  11. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    STF, Nice brine and excellent looking salmon!

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