Candy Salmon

Discussion in 'Recipes, Storage and Preparation of Seafood' started by treblig, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. treblig

    treblig Active Member

    I have smoked fish for over 20 years and love the various tastes . I have also candied salmon with a dehydrator using the flavour of the various brines for the last 18 years. I have alway been disappointed with dehydrators on there in a ability to dry even, control temperature, and the quality


    I bought this commercial dehydrator from Cabelas and tested it with a huge roast creating beef jerky. It only took 6 hours and it was evenly dried. Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.22.25 AM.png

    Here is my candy salmon article I wrote based from using the old plastic tray dehydrators . The recipe for the brine is what I use.

    Whats the next best thing to do when you can't fish cause of weather with all the fish stored in the freezer. YUP it's that time to make candy.

    What defines Indian Candy salmon to me? At most time the ones selling Indian candy salmon is really a smoked fish that's been soaked in sweet/salty brine. As usual the smoking process produces a product that is moist, colorful, full of flavor but I still considered a smoke fish even though they call it candy. Candy salmon to me is hard, dry, tougher than jerky, thicker than jerky and full of flavor.

    First thing in creating Indian Candy salmon is the drying process. Lots of failure attempts. It turned out you need to have allot of air moving like a convection oven but at a low temperature 90-110 degrees with multiple layers for volume in a dehydrator. Convection oven could only do little batches. It turned out a 12-14-tray dehydrator with thermostat control was perfect. I also wanted to penetrate 100% the salmon and that doesn't often happen when doing large volumes. By creating a vacuum bag it forces the candy brine through the full depth of the salmon slices. The photo displays two ten-pound bags of salmon in a vacuum bag soaking in the brine. One of the biggest mistakes is to pour all the brine over the cut salmon hoping it will penetrate. It won't, as all the pieces will adhere to each other. What I find efficient is to put all the salmon in large steel bowl and pour the brine over them and hand mixes all the pieces till all parts are wet. Once wet they will not stick together and the brine will want to travel through out the bag due to the vacuum. I flip the bags over every 12 hours. I normally let the salmon sit in the bags for 2 days but this time I left it for 3 days. WOW! What flavor.

    Recipe for about 7 pounds: Never hurts to make lots of extra brine.
    1 cup of light soy sauce (light soy is the saltiest)
    1 cup of brown sugar
    1/2 cup of granulated sugar (if not used increase the maple syrup another 1/4 cup)
    1 tablespoon of sesame oil
    Lots of garlic powder
    2 teaspoons of lemon pepper (always add extra)
    1/4-cup maple syrup

    After the brine time drain the fish and place on racks to dry up a little. I generally allow them to dry minimum for a hour . Spray the trays of the dehydrator with a non-stick and place the salmon tight but without the pieces touching each other. Set dehydrator for 110 degrees for the first 24 hours and then drop to 90 degrees the second 24 hours. They should be hard by then and full of flavor.

    Salmon pieces drying on a rack for an hour after being removed from the brine creates a glaze on the salmon. The first 24 hours I started with ten racks filled tight the salmon pieces nearly touching each other. This morning it is now reduce to 7 racks. The next 24 hours will be even more. You loose about 1/3 of the volume when you dehydrate them to the candy level. True candy salmon to me will be hard and full of flavor you want to juice up and keep chewing without swallowing the salmon and enjoying the juices (hard to do).

    Very simple, Very easy to do, Very addicting. I have used this process also on brown trout and steelhead with amazing results.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  2. TheBigGuy

    TheBigGuy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting you recipe. Wow, that's a monster dehydrator. Nice.
    So, the only salt you use is the salt content in the Soy sauce?
  3. treblig

    treblig Active Member

    Light soy sauce is the saltiest of the soys. The balance between salt and sweet is perfect with the combined ingredients.
  4. TheBigGuy

    TheBigGuy Well-Known Member

    Very nice. I prefer my candied Salmon way more sweet to salty as well.
  5. ElectricDyck

    ElectricDyck New Member

    Cool thanks for posting the recipe sounds super interesting, I like the idea of not adding salt, for me the saltiness is always hard to get perfect and soy sauce and sesame go so well with fish..I'd be tempted to add a little ginger too :)
  6. Old Blue

    Old Blue Active Member

    Here's another good recipe:

    Tightlines22 likes this.
  7. Waterwolf2230

    Waterwolf2230 Active Member

    I'm making this on the weekend. Can you tell me about how much garlic you put in? Is it granulated garlic? What brand of light soy do you use? There are so many...can't wait to give it a go. I have a good quality dehydrator from Bass Pro.


    bugleemup likes this.
  8. treblig

    treblig Active Member

    I use granulated garlic power as it dissolves in the brine. The Soy sauce is pearl river superior light soy. Light only means in colour This is the saltiest soy. Good luck. if your using my recipe I have used it for 15 years and everybody loves the salmon candy
  9. Waterwolf2230

    Waterwolf2230 Active Member

    Okay I'm going to start with 2 TBSP's of garlic. I love garlic but don't want to overpower the flavours. I don't know what you mean by 'LOTS' lol. I'll report back on my progress!
  10. Waterwolf2230

    Waterwolf2230 Active Member

    Okay, last question, my salmon is going in the dehydrator after 2.5 days of sitting in the vacuum bags. I've always rinsed my salmon under cold water before letting them sit on the counter and develop that pellicle. Should I be doing that in this recipe or just straight from the bag onto the racks?

    I have a lot of drooling friends waiting for the final product haha.
  11. treblig

    treblig Active Member

    DO NOT RINSE THEM . Put them on racks and let them sit for a hour then put the racks in the dehydrator. You wont be disappointed . You want them firm as tough as jerky
  12. Striper Sniper

    Striper Sniper Active Member

    Hmmmmm, any chance that this would work with Ahi Tuna?

  13. Striper Sniper

    Striper Sniper Active Member

    For those that might be interested, Cabelas has the dehydrator on sale for the next five days at $100 off and free shipping! Pulled the trigger this morning................:)

  14. treblig

    treblig Active Member

    So How did it go..... are your friends still drooling ?
  15. Steveo

    Steveo Active Member

    Have you ever used this brine recipe and then smoke it instead of the dehydrator?

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