Salmon has always been a fish I love working with. It's so versatile in the way you can prepare it, has a beautiful natural flavour unlike any other fish, but it can get a little pricy.
We love smoked salmon in our home but buying it often can add up. So when I got my Oklahoma Joe's Highland Charcoal Horizontal Smoker, I knew the first thing I needed to try was smoking my own salmon. As a beginner with the smoker, I did research on how to brine salmon and what was involved in the curing process. Everything I found online looked amazing, but I really wanted to elevate the flavours with a Rick’s Good Eats twist.
I used a brine I found online which consisted of brown sugar and kosher salt. I added a teaspoon of garam masala, which consists of many aromatic spices. The ones I knew would work well and come through nicely in the garam masala were cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. I left my salmon in the brine for 4 hours before washing it off and putting it into the smoker for 2-1/2 hours. Washing the salmon after brining leaves a light essence of the brown sugar and garam masala but I wanted the salmon to have an extra kick. I created a sweet and savoury tamarind BBQ sauce which I basted onto the salmon for another 30 minutes of smoking time.
The next morning, I assembled my Tamarind Smoked Salmon on a bagel with cream cheese, red onions, and capers. Accompanied by a dark roast coffee and the newspaper, I had one the most epic breakfasts I can remember. OK, wait. I lied. It wasn't the newspaper. It was the comics. :P