Salmon jerky

A much loved Alaskan snack, this salmon jerky recipe is perfect for those looking for an unusual, delicious bite to eat on the go. Rosana cures the salmon fillet in maple syrup, liquid smoke and soy sauce before drying out at a low temperature, imparting a sweet, smoky and savoury flavour into the fish.

First published in 2016

Jerky is lean and protein-dense meat, cut into strips and dried to avoid spoilage. After the process the meat or fish weight is considerably reduced as the moisture is removed, and can be stored outside the fridge, making it a convenient portable snack.

Jerky is an ancient process of meat preservation from animal meat. The word "jerky" comes from the Quechua word ch'arki, a particular type of dried and salted meat from South America. The basic "jerky" method includes drying out the meat at a low temperature and the addition of salt to inhibit bacterial growth.

The result is a salty and savoury jerky snack. But often a sweet or semi-sweet recipe is used, with sugar, honey or maple syrup being the primary element of the rub or marinade to counteract any harsh saltiness.

Cold water seafood is the centrepiece of Alaskan cuisine. Wild salmon is one of the most important foods in the country, and is served as smoked salmon, cured salmon, salmon jerky, and even sweetened Indian salmon candy. Wild salmon jerky is a traditional snack.

If done according to the recipe it can be stored for months without refrigeration, vacuum packed. Salmon jerky is high in protein and loaded with heart-healthy Omega-3 oils.

The method below will produce a homemade, tasty, slightly chewy textured salmon jerky with an incredible smoky flavour. No need for a dehydrator or smoking device, this process can be made at home in the domestic oven.




Salmon jerky


Remove the pin bones from the salmon – you can do this yourself or ask your fishmonger to do it for you. Remove the silver flesh from the top of the fillet, but leave the skin on. Wash the fish thoroughly then pat dry
Place the fish in the freezer for 30 minutes before you begin, this makes it easier to slice. Once firm, cut into slices approximately 1cm in thickness
In a glass or plastic mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, maple syrup, freshly ground pepper, pepper sauce and the liquid smoke. Whisk the mixture well
Place the salmon strips in the bowl of marinade, making sure that every piece is well-coated. Transfer to a sealable bag and allow the salmon to marinate for at least 12 hours in the fridge
Remove the salmon from the marinade (discarding the marinade) and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Position a clean wire rack over a baking tray, sprinkle the salmon pieces with coarse salt on both sides and let it 'dry' in the fridge for 2 hours
Preheat the oven to 75°C. Brush away all of the salt from the salmon pieces
Cover the wire rack with parchment paper or a silicon mat and place over a clean baking sheet. Lay the salmon strips out evenly on top, with space in between each piece
Cook the salmon until it reaches 75°C, check this using a thermometer. Lower the heat to 60°C, steadily cooking the fish for about 4 and a half hours in total, flipping halfway through. The final jerky should be crispy outside and chewy and sticky inside – and an absolutely delightful snack
First published in 2016

Brazilian food and travel blogger, living in London.

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