Candied Salmon

I love salmon. I really love smoked salmon. I am over the moon for candied smoked salmon. Did I mention I love salmon?

I have enjoyed candied salmon since I was raised on the west coast of Canada. The first nation people of the coast had a long history of smoking salmon over alder and the candied version became known as Indian Candy. I don’t know if I feel comfortable calling it Indian Candy. While I am grateful to the first nation people for this great tradition, Indian is a colonial term from the days that Europeans were looking for a route to India, got lost and landed in North America. So, I acknowledge the great tradition of the first nations but will call my version Candied Salmon.

I started by pulling the pin bones out of a fillet of wild sockeye salmon. I find nothing does this better than a pair of clean pliers.

You can make this out of any kind of salmon, even farmed salmon. However, quality wild salmon gives a much better texture, taste and colour.

Then I cut the salmon into small squares. You can cut the salmon into any size square you like but I like about 1 to 1 1/2 inch squares.

I mixed up the marinade ingredients and heated them until the sugar was totally dissolved and let it cool. I poured the marinade over the salmon, covered it and put it in the fridge overnight.

I rinsed the salmon under cold water and dried it with paper towels. I put my A-Maze-N Tube Smoker into my Weber Genesis Grill. I did not turn the grill on and put a container of ice I had frozen in a plastic bottle in the grill. I closed the lid. This allowed me to cold smoke the salmon for 6 hours. If you do not have some form of smoke generator, you can skip this step. I just like quite a strong smoke flavour in my candied salmon.

After 6 hours of cold smoking, I took the salmon off and put it, covered, in the fridge overnight to let the smoke flavour really penetrate the salmon.

I preheated my Louisiana Grills Smoker to 180 F. While it was heating you can brush the salmon with maple syrup or a mixture of two parts honey to one part water. I think the maple syrup gives a bit more complex flavour. She Who Must Be Obeyed thinks they are the same. Who am I to question her?

I smoked for about four hours, brushing with the maple syrup or honey mixture every 1/2 hour, to get the internal temperature of the salmon to 140 F.

Let the salmon sit for overnight before serving cold.

The Verdict

I am addicted to this dish. The rich fatty salmon, the salty brine, the smoke flavour and the sweet glaze make such a treat! If you try it, you will be addicted too!

The Old Fat Guy

Addendum:

I make this recipe in episode 7 of my community TV program, You Can Make It.

Candied Salmon

Candied Salmon

Ingredients

  • 500 grams (1 pound) salmon fillet
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup or honey diluted 2 parts to one part water
  • Marinade:
  • 175 ml (3/4 cups) water
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) brown sugar firmly packed
  • 40 ml (3 tbsp) salt
  • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) fresh ginger minced
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 5 whole allspice pods crushed

Instructions

  1. Remove the pin bones from the fillet.
  2. Cut the salmon into chunks.
  3. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a small saucepan. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool.
  4. Pour the marinade over the salmon chunks, cover and refrigerate over night, stirring occasionally.
  5. Rinse the salmon and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Optional: Cold smoke for 6 hours and refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  7. Preheat the smoker to 180 F.
  8. Brush the salmon with the maple syrup or diluted honey.
  9. Smoke the salmon to an internal temperature of 140 F, brushing every 1/2 hour with maple syrup or diluted honey.
  10. Let cool and serve cold.
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16 thoughts on “Candied Salmon”

  1. My Canadian wife and I are relocating to Central America this year and want to create your recipe utilizing affordable and readily available tilapia. We think it would work well as a viable industry down there like salmon does in Canada. Do you have any experience with that fish? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. All the best.

    1. Good luck in your new adventure. I have cooked Tilapia but not smoked it. I have smoked other white fish. I would think the problem with trying to make an Indian Candy type dish is that salmon is a firmer meat. Smoking a whitefish to the same texture would give it funny texture. However, I am just guessing. It would be worthwhile giving it a try. It might be great!

      When I smoke white fish, I go it to an internal temperature of 135 F and it gives a nice texture but it is fall apart tender and not like indian candy.

  2. The clock is ticking here David.
    I’m SonnyE from SMF.com I’m all over your Candied Salmon.
    I dropped by to print it, so I can check my supplies to be sure I’m ready.
    Thank You for making your Recipes printable. I truely appreciate that!
    Salmon is my ‘Steak’ since my heart event and the cardiologist’s crossed red meat off my diet. So lots of Chicken, Pork, and my treat Salmon.
    I want to do the cold smoke option, and then the finish smoking.
    Love the show!
    Thank You!
    SonnyE

  3. I love salmon and your candied salmon sounds both delicious and addictive! ☺️
    What a great recipe and thank you for sharing it!

  4. I had your Indian Candy and my husband loves it. We have tried it in other places. But it’s not the same.
    I would like to make it for him. Problem is I don’t have a smoker. Can I slow bake it in the oven and maybe add some liquid smoke to it?
    Thank you.

    1. I really don’t recommend liquid smoke. It has an off taste. It will be tasty just done in the oven without smoke but not as good. Another option is to cold smoke it with a smoke generator like an A-Maze-N Pellet tube in a barbecue and then do it in the oven.

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