Vintage Recipe: Canadian Air Force Smoked Salmon

When you write about food for a living, homegrown recipes get shared with you everywhere you travel. I have a … Continued

field and stream, david draper, wild chef, wild game, fish recipe, smoked salmon recipe, old school, canadian air force smoked salmon, smoked trout recipe

When you write about food for a living, homegrown recipes get shared with you everywhere you travel. I have a folder full of marinade recipes scribbled on post-it notes, rub ingredients on barbecue-stained napkins, and blurry cell-phone pics snapped of the recipe cards of long-passed relatives. In an age when the Google machine is a source for anything you might desire, it’s nice to remember a time when Grandma’s recipe box held a whole host of treasures worth discovering.

I plan on sharing some of these found recipes with you from time to time—with the caveat that I have not tested many of them. I’ll also transcribe them as I received them, which often leaves some of the actual mystery and magic of cooking up to the reader, which is how it should be.

This particular one came from a small chapbook shared by a friend. Titled Fish Tails and Scaly Thumbs by Thelma Cook Arnold, it’s a 31-page typed remembrance of the life of a hardcore fly angler as written by his widow. Along with a number of great stories, it also included this recipe for smoked salmon that was originally shared by a Canadian Air Force officer.

Canadian Air Force Smoked Salmon

1/3 cup canning salt
1/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. pepper (1/2 tsp. Java black cracked pepper and 1/2 tsp regular pepper)

(Makes enough for 8 medium fish)

Mix all together. Put some on a board, dry fish with paper towels. Lay fish on mixture, put some in body cavity, put rest on top. Tip board so it can drip into sink. Leave 5 hours. At end of 5 hours, wipe off excess mixture with paper towel. Place on racks of smoker. Smoke 12-inhc trout 3 ½ to 4 hours. At 3 hours test one—if it is still juicy and meat will not pull away from backbone, continue smoking. (The larger fish should be on board longer, be heated in a 150 degree over for 4 min. before smoking. They may take 5 hours of smoking.) Have continuous smoke on fish.