By in Food

Candy Smoked Salmon

If you travel through BC, you'll likely see a whole lot of roadside signs for something called candy smoked salmon. Folks around here just call it candied salmon, though I've also seen it called “salmon candy” and “Indian candy.” Whatever the name it goes by, if you have the chance to try this delicacy don't pass it up!

What is Candy Smoked Salmon?

Candied salmon is a ready-to-eat treat that used to be made as a type of “ travelling food ” (like Pemmican) in areas where the fish is common. Even here in the British Columbia Interior, salmon are an important part of our ecosystems. And the First Nations people who have lived here for generations have taught us to prepare it so we can eat it on the go.

If you like smoked salmon and you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you'll love this stuff! It's a chewy chunk of salmon that's been treated in a very sweet brine before smoking. It's safe to eat as is, because the smoking process cooks it through. If you like cream cheese and lox on your morning bagel, give Indian candy a try!

What Does Candied Salmon Taste Like?

The taste depends largely on what went into the brine, but also to some extent on what type of wood was used in the smoker. Some recipes call for a mild wood like alder or apple in the smoker, but here in cherry country you might just get fish that's been smoked using a sweet, delicate cherry wood .

As for the brine, most recipes call for dark brown sugar. Many add maple syrup, and I saw one that had a trifecta of brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey. Now you know that's going to be sweet! Some folks like to add a little bit of onion or garlic to their recipe, and some start with a commercially prepared rub. The salmon I had this week (courtesy of the wonderful k_mccormick2 ) was prepared with crushed chili peppers , so it was less sweet but it had a lovely heat to it.

Making Candied Salmon at Home

If you can't find this West Coast delicacy near you, candied salmon can be made at home. It takes up to a full day for the salmon to cure in the brine, so don't do this when you're in a rush. If you don't have access to a smoker, you can get the wood chips and rig up a makeshift smoker for your stovetop .

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Image credit: Salmon photo by Mollie-Rose/DeviantArt ( CC BY-SA 3.0 ) (Candied salmon has a richer colour to it, but I can't show it to you at the moment because I'm having technical difficulties.)

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Fractal wrote on August 6, 2014, 7:30 PM

Interesting. I like a bit of salmon now and then. I usually have it with scrambled egg. I don't have a sweet tooth but I can see the attraction.

Ellis wrote on August 6, 2014, 8:17 PM

I shall have to look out for this next time I'm in Canada....go down nice with a

LeaPea2417 wrote on August 6, 2014, 8:55 PM

That would be interesting to try. I like Salmon a lot baked or smoked.

paperdaisyflower7 wrote on August 6, 2014, 10:36 PM

is it served as a dessert, treat or a dish? Sounds interesting would like to try it someday. Does it have a fishy taste or smell?

Akshar wrote on August 6, 2014, 11:17 PM

I like salmon very much! And this sounds yummy!i will surely try this when I get a chance emoticon :smile:

vserrao1 wrote on August 7, 2014, 12:35 AM

If I could cook and smoke salmon, I would definitely try candied salmon.

Ruby3881 wrote on August 7, 2014, 1:09 AM

The peppered one I tried yesterday isn't sweet at all. It would go really well with eggs :)

MegL wrote on August 7, 2014, 6:00 AM

That sounds tasty! It would be handy to carry as a packed lunch.

Ruby3881 wrote on August 7, 2014, 2:22 PM

Or you could enjoy it with one of our local wines or artisanal beers!

Ruby3881 wrote on August 7, 2014, 2:23 PM

If you are a fan of salmon, chances are you'll love it candied. My husband doesn't much care for it, but he's not a big fan of fish.

Ruby3881 wrote on August 7, 2014, 3:23 PM

It's eaten as a treat - finger food. It tastes like salmon, but it's sweet instead of smoky. And it's got a chewy texture, more like candy than fish.

Ruby3881 wrote on August 7, 2014, 3:25 PM

It's definitely worth a try, at least once in your life. I hope you enjoy it :)

Ruby3881 wrote on August 7, 2014, 6:21 PM

It doesn't look that difficult, really Victor. Check out the video I linked to see how you can do the smoking in a large pot on your stove. It takes really minimal equipment - just some aluminum foil, some wood chips, and a metal steamer inside a put like a canning pot or stockpot.

Ruby3881 wrote on August 7, 2014, 6:22 PM

Ach! That's "inside a pot" - not a "put".....

Ruby3881 wrote on August 7, 2014, 6:40 PM

Definitely! It would make a lovely accompaniment to some nice bread, fresh fruit, and a good bottle of our Skimmerhorn wine.

vserrao1 wrote on August 7, 2014, 8:54 PM

I just saw the video. It is very easy. I just have to by the metal steamer and the wood chips and I am good to go.

LoudMan wrote on August 7, 2014, 9:55 PM

I have to try this once. I love salmon and have never tried a version of it I did not like.

Ruby3881 wrote on August 7, 2014, 11:18 PM

I would have to make the same purchases, as my steamer is bamboo. I'm thinking if you decide to use a steamer for smoking meats and fish, it may take up some of the smoke flavour. I'm not sure if it could be used for veggies afterwards.

Ruby3881 wrote on August 7, 2014, 11:23 PM

You're like me. I just love salmon in any form, but I have an allergy to fish that flares up if I eat too much of it. So it's even more of a treat for me when I get to eat salmon - candied, smoked, fresh, or otherwise....

k_mccormick2 wrote on August 9, 2014, 7:49 PM

I was wondering if you were going to try some. Oh my I loved it feel free to come and scoop the rest if you want to momma :) I am glad to hear you enjoyed it.

Tuffy06 wrote on August 11, 2014, 11:51 PM

That's interesting. I like Salmon even if I don't get to eat that all the time. Candied Salmon might taste better than the regular ones. I tried Candied Bacon and Candied pecans and loved them.

Ruby3881 wrote on August 12, 2014, 2:51 AM

Does that invitation extend to this latest batch? I might just..... :D

Ruby3881 wrote on August 12, 2014, 2:53 AM

Candied bacon, hmmmm, sounds interesting! I've heard a lot of very polarized views on chocolate-covered bacon (which sounds disgusting to me, thanks!) But I don't think I've really heard anything about candied bacon....

Tuffy06 wrote on August 12, 2014, 8:21 AM

Oh you should try it. I had that as a topping for my cupcake. It tastes good also with ice cream. I haven't heard about chocolate- covered bacon. It does sound weird but I think I still want to try it.

k_mccormick2 wrote on August 23, 2014, 1:30 AM

I am glad to hear that this is my children's choice of snack once school starts. Weird that this is what they chose but this momma is happy that it is a healthy snack now if only it wasn't $10 bucks for such a small amount. Looks like I am going to have to ration it out :) I have the peppered variety at home momma :)