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Thread: Pickled Salmon

  1. #1

    Default Pickled Salmon

    Years ago, I worked with a native Alaskan guy who brought in pickled salmon to work and shared it. I acquired the taste for pickled fish on a couple visits to Poland where pickled herring is practically a delicacy.
    This year, I finally buckled down and made a batch of pickled salmon. I did a lot of research, but didn't find much on here about specifics. Here are a couple questions for anyone that has done it before. Do you just leave it soaking in the vinegar until ready to eat even after the pickling process has taken place? Also how long should it sit in the vinegar before considered pickled (I've read 1-5 days)?
    I expect it will keep in the fridge for about 5-6 weeks. Is this in line with what others have found?
    Any info is greatly appreciated, particularly if it is firsthand experience.

  2. #2
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    I do love pickled herring but have never thought to do that to a salmon. Do you have a recipe?

  3. #3

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    Well, like I said I searched the internet and came up with the recipe I used. I can't confirm it worked as I am waiting for it to pickle now but it was a lot simpler than I thought it would be.
    First, I brined the salmon (after freezing to kill worms) in saltwater for about 24 hours. Then I cut it into small 1-2 inch pieces and rinsed it gently.
    For the pickling mixture I used-
    8 cups white wine vinegar
    3 cups white sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    7 tbsp pickling spice (this was in the spice section at Walmart and called just that-pickling spice)
    Then I combined all the ingredients in a pot and brought it to a boil, stirring it well. I heated it up well for about a half hour.
    I then let it cool down to room temp or cooler (critical) and poured it in with my salmon pieces, layering them with onions I had cut up. I am hoping for the best and will report back as to how it turned out.

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    Member pacific-23's Avatar
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    That should taste great, but is definitely of the "quick pickle" variety. I generally use a more old school approach, salting the fish for up to several weeks before pickling. It all depends on the consistency and degree of longevity you are looking for. A longer salt will also require much longer (several weeks) in the pickling solution to "draw out", but result in a firmer final product. If you like how yours turns out and you plan on eating it in a fairly short amount of time then go for it! A hard salt/ pickle will last several months in the fridge no problem. If one is going to keep it for a while though, dump enough olive oil on top of the jars to form an air tight barrier - will make a tremendous difference in quality.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacific-23 View Post
    That should taste great, but is definitely of the "quick pickle" variety. I generally use a more old school approach, salting the fish for up to several weeks before pickling. It all depends on the consistency and degree of longevity you are looking for. A longer salt will also require much longer (several weeks) in the pickling solution to "draw out", but result in a firmer final product. If you like how yours turns out and you plan on eating it in a fairly short amount of time then go for it! A hard salt/ pickle will last several months in the fridge no problem. If one is going to keep it for a while though, dump enough olive oil on top of the jars to form an air tight barrier - will make a tremendous difference in quality.
    Pacific-23
    I read about this approach online, but didn't understand that it would result in a better end product. Do you pack it dry in pickling salt or in a liquid solution for a couple weeks? One person online stated they packed it dry in rock salt for several weeks to brine it. Interesting what different methods will do to the final product-it should be fun to toy with and perfect a recipe.

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    A friend of mine pickles pike and it is delicous. Not sure how he goes about it though. I don't think he does the several weeks of salting.

  7. #7
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    i use several of the online food channel recipes... they work out great and have good fish in about a month.. i prefer kosher salt.. to dry brine it and use the big one gallon jars with screw on lids from freds..

    it dont last long enough to wonder if it could have been better.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  8. #8
    Member pacific-23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwm907 View Post
    Pacific-23
    I read about this approach online, but didn't understand that it would result in a better end product. Do you pack it dry in pickling salt or in a liquid solution for a couple weeks? One person online stated they packed it dry in rock salt for several weeks to brine it. Interesting what different methods will do to the final product-it should be fun to toy with and perfect a recipe.
    I didn't mean to imply it was always better, just different. The original recipes could be kept for months in the days before refrigeration, and newer recipes (which will be refrigerated) have been adapted to have the flavor without as much curing. I do like the texture of the longer salted fish as it firmer. I buy 50# bags of medium cargill salt at the fish plant and pack the fish dry. As Vince mentions Kosher salt works well too, both types of salt don't have iodine. I haven't done side by side testing, but I know all curing/canning/pickling recipes seem to make a point of calling for non-iodized salt. Have fun, experiment, find someone who makes the best you've ever had - get them blackout drunk and steal their recipe! Oh, the olive oil will help a lot with the flavor as it will keep the liquid from evaporating and picking up funk in the fridge.
    Last edited by pacific-23; 08-01-2012 at 22:38. Reason: forgot detail

  9. #9

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    For anyone that cares, my batch turned out great. I will still probably experiment, but it was just as I good as I remembered.

  10. #10
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    Resurrecting this thread. My Alaska Native neighbor (years ago, like early 80's) taught us to store up salmon in buckets with rock salt. Add no liquid. Leave it and it makes it's own brine. Later rinse it off. Pickle it and put it in jars. Was so good. Can't find anything on the internet that does it like this. He also had us just take the salmon out of the brine after weeks or months, and rinse and prepare for cooking or eating. Said they kept it this way often.
    Oh, and he made the best fish head soup ever.
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