Considered by many as a culinary indulgence, smoked salmon is flavorful treat enjoyed around the world. Whether served hot or chilled, this fish provides a combination of nutrition and taste. Find out how smoked salmon nutrition benefits your health and how to prepare it at home.
Types of Smoked Salmon
Smoked salmon can be smoked at high and low temperatures. Hot smoked salmon is cooked around 80 C and has a flaky texture to it. The cold smoked variety is prepared at lower temperatures, has a bright pink color and is usually used to flavor salads and snacks.
Smoked Salmon Nutrition Value
Many wonder if smoked salmon has the same nutritional value as the raw kind. The good news is that it does. However, fish has to be cured in a salty solution before it can be smoked. For this reason, it contains higher amounts of sodium than raw salmon.
Omega Fatty Acids
Salmon, whether smoked or fresh, is known for being a source of omega fatty acids. These kinds of fats are good for the heart. If you have high cholesterol levels, eating salmon regularly can do your health a lot of good.
Another benefit of omegas is their ability to reduce inflammation. People with arthritis can supplement their medication by adding salmon to the plate.
Magnesium is another nutrient for the heart. By normalizing your heartbeat and blood pressure, it can help relieve symptoms of cardiovascular disease. This powerful nutrient also adds strength to muscle, immunity and the nervous system.
One other benefit of smoked salmon nutrition is, of course, protein. If you have been looking for delicious protein sources, this is one to add to the list. Protein’s effects on health are well known. Stronger muscles, improved digestion and stable energy are just a few.
Vitamins and Selenium
Are you prone to disease and fatigue? Smoked salmon has plenty of vitamin B to give you a boost. When combined with vitamin D and selenium, this nutrient can increase your body’s resistance to sickness and restore the density of bones.
How to Smoke Salmon at Home
If store-bought smoked salmon is a little rich for your budget, you can save money by learning how to smoke fish at home. Using a smoker is convenient. However, there is a way to do it without one.
Preparing a Cure
The first lesson in smoking salmon is to prepare the brine or cure. Some prefer a cure made from rock salt and molasses sugar. Others make it with ¼ cup of brown sugar, ¼ cup of rock or kosher salt and a quart of water.
If you like the molasses and rock salt recipe, you should use an 80/20 ratio or 1 cup of molasses sugar to 4 cups of salt. Rub or soak the salmon in the cure for 8-12 hours. To remove moisture, you can pat the fish down with a towel, place it under a fan for 3-4 hours or uncovered in the fridge for 8-12 hours.
If you don’t have a smoker, you can do it in an oven. Just get hold of a wok. Double line it with foil and add a level layer of wood chips. Place a small rack on top and check if the lid can close. Cake racks work best.
Place your salmon fillets on the rack and fold in the foil until the fish is completely (and tightly) sealed. This is to keep the smoke in. Close the wok with the lid and place in the oven.
Set to medium heat and smoke salmon at 4-minute intervals until done. 4 minutes is standard but you can increase or decrease cooking time according to the taste you want. Do a test run with one salmon fillet first to gauge your ideal cooking time.
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