“Once a year growing up, my family would decamp to Lake Taupo [in New Zealand] for trout season. This involved some atrociously bad fly fishing, sitting in rocky thermal heated streams and eventually taking a charter on the lake to actually catch some fish. As a fourteen-year-old interested in cooking, I smoked out many hotel rooms and set off countless fire alarms trying to smoke fish for my family. This is the method I use now, at work and at home. Once you get a feel for cooking the fish, it becomes a truly enjoyable thing to make.” —Analiese Gregory in her cookbook,
- BROWN SUGAR-CURED HOT SMOKED TROUT (YIELD: 2 SERVINGS)
- 3½ oz. fine sea salt
- 3½ oz. brown sugar
- 1 lb. 2 oz. whole rainbow or brown trout, gutted and scaled
- In a bowl, mix the salt and sugar thoroughly. Sprinkle some into a tray. Put the clean fish down on top, and then open the cavity and evenly sprinkle the inside with the curing mix. Pat the rest on top, then cover and refrigerate the fish for 12 hours or overnight.
- Wash the cure off the fish, pat dry, and leave on a tray in the fridge so the skin can dry, approximately 6 hours.
- Preheat a smoker to 140°F and use your choice of wood chips. Once the chips are smoking and the chamber is preheated, lay the fish on an oiled rack (this will be important for removing it after). I cook it to an internal temperature of 136°F so it is still extremely moist and the protein is just set, but you can take it higher if that is your preference.
- I have also done this many times in an oven. Just preheat to 136°F, get a small tray of wood chips smoking, and slide it into the bottom of the oven while your fish is in there.