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Smoke-free smoked salmon

Recipe inspired by the Solérone d'Automne, a creation by François Chartier and partner in crime Stéphane Modat (chef at Fairmont Château Frontenac restaurants). Photo credit: Stéphane Modat, © All rights reserved 2009.

There’s nothing simpler and more fun than cold smoking salmon “without smoke” … using a brine maceration made with black smoked Lapsang Souchong tea leaves. That’s all! You can replace the strong Lapsang Souchong with a subtler smoked black tea, such as Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, or a baked Wulong tea. The result will be just as refined without the dominating strong smoked flavour. It’s a question of taste.

Ingredients

  • 150 g (1 cup) coarse sea salt
  • 100 g (3/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 7 g (1/4 cup) black smoked Lapsang Souchong tea
  • 1 salmon filet, with skin

Directions

  1. In a salad bowl, mix the salt and the brown sugar with the Lapsang Souchong tea leaves, which should be rinsed beforehand for a few seconds with boiling water to release the aromas.
  2. Spread a bit of the brine prepared in step one on plastic wrap, which you will have placed on your working surface.
  3. Place the salmon skin-side down on the brine, and cover the rest of the flesh with the remaining brine.
  4. Fold the edges of the plastic wrap to seal hermetically.
  5. Refrigerate for approximately 12 hours.
  6. Remove the salmon from the plastic wrap and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry.
  7. Refrigerate again.
  8. Cut right before serving on a plate.

"Liquid harmonic trails"

Baked and smoked black teas, such as certain varieties of Wulong, are obviously the first tailor-made pairing for this “no smoke” smoked salmon. But our fall beer, the Solerone d’Autome, inspired by the aromatic molecules emanating from black tea and dried fig alike, will most certainly beguile you as well!