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Thread: Original squaw candy recipe anyone?

  1. #1
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    Default Original squaw candy recipe anyone?

    Hi folks, I am a new member here and I have to tell you I am impressed. Great feeds on everything. Great going all.
    Listen, I was at a processing plant in Ninilchik last year and once again just had to purchase what they titled "original squaw candy" at a phenominal price. I simply can't resist that stuff. Good thing it isn't illegal!
    At any rate, I have always had tremendous luck with the gathering of fish and game for over 40 years hear in this great state of ours. But - one thing still illudes me. Can anyone help me here. I want to find that so called "original squaw candy" recipe.
    I have had wonderful luck with creating my own assortment of recipies over the years with trial and error. I find that the more I put into them, the less I like them. Back to the the K.I.S.S. rule. Always seems that's the way things work out.
    I have lots to share with you all but for now, I will await some replies. By the way, I read a lot of posts on the smoker issue. Fourty years of smoking meats and fishes and there is still no room for cedar in my smoke house!
    My favorite woods to use is cotton wood that is found on the beach. There is no bark on it and it is seawater cured. Alaska driftwood! Don't knock it till you try it.
    Arctic Fox

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!

    Try this one out - http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ead.php?t=5127

    Post #2, it was given to me as a "Squaw Candy" recipe.
    AKmud
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    "Original"????? Come on folks, think about this for a bit. Do you think these folks had any of the ingredients on anybody lists? The fish is simply dried and smoked. Nothing more simple could apply. The fact that it's dried and smoked like jerky is just a matter of food preservation. The rule in the "bush" is as much as you can, as fast as you can, as cheap as you can. This is not a sport activity, this is survival 101.

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    Default Kodiak Squaw...

    I'm going for this as soon as the temperature dips. The fish came from Kodiak, so therein the name. I live in Florida. I am confidant this is going to work.

    My fish will be sockeye, thawed and wiped dry, and never rinsed. I'll pack them in a mixture of 1 part kosher salt and 3 parts brown sugar, flesh to flesh with the skin on.

    I'll load them in a tub and press them down with with a board and bricks for 48 hours in the refrigerator. I'll skim off the leach, wipe them dry, and cut them length-wise into 1" strips that run the whole fillet length. I will rack those strips flesh side up on kitchen counter and blow a fan on them for 8 hours. During that time I will intermittently coat them with Meyers dark brown rum.

    I will tie string into thumb-sized loops on the ends of each piece.

    I will use paper clips to attach the loops to the screen of my top shelf in my smoker, and hang the strips vertically.

    The bottom floor of my smoker will contain an electric hot plate. I will place a 2 quart saucepan on it filled with alder chips and cover it with with a lid that has been bored with 1/4" holes.

    I will run the hotplate on low and blow smoke and low heat for 4 days. Every day I will replace the chips and rehang the strips to the opposite end.

    At the end of that period, almost a week from start to finish, the name I gave this product should be deserving of it...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    www.alaskanauthor.com

  5. #5

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    I was thinking along the same lines as Al. I have had some of the native stuff and it is pretty strong,

    Alaskan A, sound like a good process, what does the rum do for the finished product?
    Pete

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    Default So true!

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    "Original"????? Come on folks, think about this for a bit. Do you think these folks had any of the ingredients on anybody lists? The fish is simply dried and smoked. Nothing more simple could apply. The fact that it's dried and smoked like jerky is just a matter of food preservation. The rule in the "bush" is as much as you can, as fast as you can, as cheap as you can. This is not a sport activity, this is survival 101.
    What was known as squaw candy in the days of real Alaska was a simple product of king or red salmon strips, tied in twos with twine, soaked in brine for an hour, hung over a pole to dry in the wind for a few days to a week, and then smoked with cottonwood or alder COLD smoke for a few days. It was meant to last a long time w/o refrigeration. Any other product is kippered salmon, especially if it involves heat.

    You can add all kinds of ingredients to the brine, but as Big Al pointed out; it ain't the real thing.
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    Default Rum Coating...

    I learned to coat with rum during the fan blowing process from a Kodiak local. This process produces a burnished sheen as well as further imparting a unique sweet flavor when combined with the smoke.

    Seldom do I challenge successs; his smoked products constantly take the blue ribbon at the Kodiak Fair...

    www.alaskanauthor.com

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    Actually, few used twine and none used salt brine that I've ever talked to or seen.

    The way the salmon was prepared to hang, was by cutting the fish with the bone section (spine,ribs) and the two sides still attached to the tail.

    This way hung to dry somewhat, then hung the same way in the smoker. This process took days to reach the dry, ready for long term storage, that was needed for a family.

    I will add, that all types of salmon were treated this way, with the exception of humpty.

    By the way, this is a method that is still in common use today in our Alaska!

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    Default You bet it is

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Actually, few used twine and none used salt brine that I've ever talked to or seen.

    The way the salmon was prepared to hang, was by cutting the fish with the bone section (spine,ribs) and the two sides still attached to the tail.

    This way hung to dry somewhat, then hung the same way in the smoker. This process took days to reach the dry, ready for long term storage, that was needed for a family.

    I will add, that all types of salmon were treated this way, with the exception of humpty.

    By the way, this is a method that is still in common use today in our Alaska!
    I can only speak for the two types of smoked fish made in Bristol Bay (which I think is fairly universal). You just mentioned one, which is called split fish, and the other, which I described, is called strips. I associated this type with squaw candy, because when visitors came out to fish camp, or the village, this is the type they would want to buy, and they referred to it as squaw candy.

    I've been heavily involved in the production of both types, from the netting of the fish to the packaging, and everything in between. Sometimes they do not salt the fish at all, but just wind-dry it. I don't have much taste for that product, as it is bland and has fly-specking.

    You're right, they do smoke silvers too. Nobody bothers with chums or pinks much in BB, but I know they do chums farther north.
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    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    The strips are cut from the already prepared fish. Cutting is the last thing done before they put them up for storage. I've seen this on both the Kusko and the Yukon rivers. On the Kusko, I've seen many dogs put up the same way. When we see herring and other small fish dried and or smoked, they are tied together with grass. I personally have never seen twine or salt used in any of the fish camps I've been in. That does not mean there are not folks that do it this way, it does mean that the traditional way is without "store bought anything".

    In your neck of the woods most people outside of the BB are probably eating fish with seal oil?

  11. #11
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Not in BB

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    The strips are cut from the already prepared fish. Cutting is the last thing done before they put them up for storage. I've seen this on both the Kusko and the Yukon rivers. On the Kusko, I've seen many dogs put up the same way. When we see herring and other small fish dried and or smoked, they are tied together with grass. I personally have never seen twine or salt used in any of the fish camps I've been in. That does not mean there are not folks that do it this way, it does mean that the traditional way is without "store bought anything".

    In your neck of the woods most people outside of the BB are probably eating fish with seal oil?
    In the Bristol Bay region, some of the reds and some kings are cut up longitudinally into strips before brining. Here's a picture of what strips look like:
    http://www.towerrocklodge.com/img/2005fishstrips.jpg

    The thicker of these strips get latitudinal cuts to help them dry faster. Then they are tied in twos with hanging twine, and wind-dried. Probably two-thirds of the fish are filletedfrom the backbone with the tail still holding them together, and dried on a rack, then smoked. Beaver cuttings (cottonwood) are the wood of choice. I have been severely chewed out by my mother-in-law for not getting the right kind of wood!

    The usual mode of brining is a 5 gallon bucket mixed with rock salt enough to float a potato. Some people in larger communities such as Dillingham and Naknek might have a recipe that includes soy sauce and brown sugar, but that is the cosmopolitan influence. At fish camp it is usually just straight brine, and the people procure large bags of rock salt from the canneries to do so.

    You are right: after the fish is smoked, it is cut into smaller pieces for storage, though in the old days they were baled for storage or even sale to trading posts. And yes, seal oil is the preferred condiment for any dried or frozen fish.

    This may be different than what is done on the Kuskokwim or Yukon as there is probably more Scandinavian and Filipino influence in the bay area. I have had a lot of smoked Yukon king from the Bethel area, however, and it has been brined. People from BB trade for it because it is way oilier and richer than BB fish.
    The smaller that government becomes, the bigger my support for it will be. The opposite is also true.

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    Member Nukalpiaq's Avatar
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    Default Derogatory term

    "Squaw" candy what is that? never heard that term being used in our village by our native women to describe salmon strips. Sounds derogatory and demeaning for the women that make our salmon strips! Additionally the word's origins are Algonquian, not Alaska Native.

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    Default question

    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    Try this one out - http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ead.php?t=5127

    Post #2, it was given to me as a "Squaw Candy" recipe.

    I am new to smoking, so I got all the dumb questions.

    When you say you let them soak for 5-6 hours, is that a dry soak? As in no water?

    Thanks for bearing with me.

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    I was always under the impression that "Squaw Candy", most definitly a tourist given name, was strictly smoked salmon belly's. Everything else was just dried or smoked fish or whatever cultural name was given to it. I may be wrong, but thats what has always been told to me.

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    Yes, 'squaw candy' has been regarded by most Native Alaskans I've known as being a derogatory term. 'Squaw' being a reference to aboriginal women in another area of the country, and a word which was brought to this place by persons who held questionable regard for the First Nations People.

    That said, I have two slightly different recipes from two older gentlemen, one of whom is now deceased, and both of whom were known fairly well in and around the Interior and other Native communities.... for many years.

    Neither recipe uses anything other than king (or chum) salmon strips, salt, water, and cold smoke provided by cottonwood from the bank of the (Yukon) river.

    Both involve cutting strips the full length of the king salmon (or chum salmon), with the first cut not going all the way through at the tail, and the second cut going all the way through, resulting in two strips, joined at the tail area by a piece of skin. The strips are often about 1/4" to 5/8" wide, and the 'depth' of that particular area of the meat.

    The meat on what I call the 'shoulder' of the fish, (the thicker, less boney meat above the vertabrae) is utilized for the strips. The remaining lower portion of tail, as well as the bellies, have their own specific, somewhat different uses.

    One recipe uses rock salt, with a specific amount of salt added to a specific amount of water. The other uses the '100% solution' method, wherein pickling salt is added to the brine water until a peeled, raw potato floats in it.

    The doubled strips are joined into a bundle with others, on twine loops, and submerged into the brine bucket, with the person working their hands through the strips while they soak, in order to make sure that the brine reaches the strips equally; making sure that some strips aren't more heavily or lightly brined than others.

    Both families brined their fish for rather short periods of time (10 or 20, or even 30 minutes), followed by an extended period of 'glazing' (drying in the air, with no bugs, hopefully in a nice breeze, in a protected area, such as a mosquito-netted pole structure, until the translucent rubbery texture and appearance sets in on the surface of the strips). This could be a matter of one to three days.

    The fish are then cold-smoked in any number of structures; often times a visqueen greenhouse-looking apparatus, or.... what ever works.

    And no, my walk-in smoker won't be finished now until I decide that it's sane to go out and work in the cold.. And I haven't gotten to that point of Winter boredom, cabin fever, or frustration with kids sufficient to lead me to do that quite yet... Maybe next week. But for sure before more fish head to the freezers.

    ruffle

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    Default " squaw " candy

    In the east my people used to tap and boil maple sap to make a sweet syrup which is known as maple syrup today. Some of the syrup would be poured onto the snow and left to harden which made a kind of candy which the white folks reffered to as " squaw " candy. The word " squaw " was originally an Iroquois word for a females private parts which was shortened for easier pronunciation by the french trappers and used to refer to Native women, it is a derogatory word and in the lower 48 if you call a Native woman a " squaw " be expecting a left hook.

  17. #17

    Default I had no idea

    Okay, I am educated now but I love what I got as , well, lets call it Salmon Candy, that works for me. It is sweet instead of salty is all. I understood that the smoking was a long process, cold smoked and took days or even a couple of weeks. That was why it was prized. This is just what I was told and we can see how things get twisted.
    So I did a version of quick smoked and just added lots of stuff, here goes:

    1/2 C Salt (cause I don't like it salty)
    1 C Brown sugar
    1/4 C honey
    1/2 C Molasses
    1 qt. water
    1/4-1/2 C. Soy ( adds a bit more salt)

    Soak over night , then put on racks and let the fish glaze over.
    I smoked it as cool as I could get my smoker to go and let it go 6-8 hrs. depending on how thick the pieces were.
    It was gone way to fast, so I guess the kids and grandkids liked it! I plan to make more this year so I can have some!
    Again my apologies for my ignorance on the derogatory name.

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    Hello,
    I'm french and newly registered here. I was looking for a recipe for what I was taught to be "squaw candy". I used to eat squaw candy in 1976 when I was 3 year old and spend one year in Anchorage with my parents.

    I'm not a native English talking person, but what I know from other languages (french) is that a word that is derogatory by itself might have a different meaning when used stuck to an other word.

    Whatever, there is a nice article about the squaw word on the wikipedia website : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squaw

    I will try to cook jerky salmon as soon as I get some 'liquid smoke' which is not sold in Europe.

    Best regards,
    Eric

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    Hi James

    Did you soak the fish over night in the mix of all the ingredients or just in water then bast the fish before smoking?

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