Spoiler alert: This recipe is about a smoke gun. The story is, however, about our senses.
Aroma is a fantastic thing with infinite possibilities.
If you were to choose between Salmon and smoked Salmon, which one would you choose? Or perhaps, the better questions would be, which on give you more taste when you read it in your menu?
I say smoke salmon because upon reading the word, my memory brings back that smoky flavor. Yum. The fact is, though, smoke is not exactly flavor: it’s the smell (or I would like to use “aroma” instead — it sounds much nicer.) The smell is only half of the flavor. The other half? Taste.
Flavor = Smell + Taste
Taste being only five — salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and savory — the smell can be (almost) infinite. Humans can detect tens of thousands of different smells. Some scientists say millions. In any case, we can distinguish a lot more smell than taste.
Taste is so we can tell if the food is safe to eat: bitterness is unpleasant — a sign to avoid (like poison), while sweetness and savory taste good — they are what our body needs.
The smell is what we use to distinguish “what” we are eating — garlic, cheese and fish all smell different. Because they smell different, we can tell the difference between garlic and cheese. The smell can also tell us the state of the food — whether it is fresh, starting to deteriorate, or ferment.
The pleasant aroma brings pleasure to humans, just as, if not more than savory taste can do. This is why such ingredients like Truffle and Matsutake are highly prized.
This brings us to hickory smoke.
Now, you may have noticed this article’s title “with” hickory smoke, not smoked Salmon. It’s salmon sashimi infused with (sort of) smoke, and then, plated, served with smoke.
The picture should tell you what I am talking about here. The best part of this recipe is it’s a lot easier and faster than smoking salmon (I’ve only seen the smoking process on YouTube, so I’m guessing here. Nonetheless, I think it’s a pretty good guess.)
That being said, this recipe calls for a smoke gun, which you need to buy before you can proceed here. I use this smoke gun.
Here is a portable one you can use for $36 (Just so you know mine cost $100!)
Trust me it’s worth every penny.
Salmon Sashimi with Hickory Smoke
Salmon, Sashimi grade, cured
Cure Salmon in sugar and salt (recipe here)
Place Salmon in a Ziploc bag
Insert the nozzle into the bag
Place the wood chip in the smoke guns’ hole, turn on the fan switch, light the wood chip
Light the wood chip and let the smoke into the bag
Seal the bag, place it in the refrigerator for one hour
Slice and place the Salmon
Sprinkle Himalayan salt, lemon juice, garnish with chives and wasabi on the side.
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