As mentioned in my last post on “Tjop’s pop-up” (dutch only) I was blown away by the salmon we got served over there. In my attempt to make something similar, the idea for this recipe was born. Smoked sweet lemon pepper salmon. The salmon was brined in a spiced sweet and spicy syrup before smoking. A delicious piece of salmon, maybe even my best so far. Yet it wasn’t what I had in mind so you can expect some more attempts (if they turn out as good as this one)

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Sweet lemon pepper salmon

The salmon I ate at “Tjop’s” was that good I wanted to create something similar. In an attempt to get a delicious subtle pepper crust like the one I ate I made a spiced syrup. Afterwards I realised that was not my best idea ever… No way the sugars would caramelize at 90°C (194°F) to form a crust. Moreover the spices were wet and the chance they would form a crust was zero. Some more sleep might have made me think more logic. BUT then again… I wouldn’t be able to serve you this version. I’m sure a lot of you would like it too!

The syrup was spiced with lemon pepper, a rawit pepper, rosemary and lemon juice. It brings a sticky layer of taste to the salmon before smoking. The flavors go deeper into the salmon when brined. The taste was sweet and spicy combining well with a subtle touch of smoke. I used some apple wood chunks for smoking the sweet lemon pepper salmon. It took me about 35 minutes at 90°C/194°F cooking the salmon indirect. Afterwards I sprinkled some more fresh lemon pepper on the salmon before serving. Delicious with baked potatoes.

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Smoked sweet lemon pepper salmon (2 pers.)

Smoked sweet lemon pepper salmon (2 pers.)

Ingredients

Instructions

For the brine:

1. Heat a small pan and toss in the rawit pepper, 2 Tbsp. lemon pepper, 2 Tbsp. salt, and 2 rosemary twigs. Let them cook for 2 minutes to release the flavors.

2. Add a cup of water. Bring the brine to the cooking point. Remove the pan from fire and add 2 cups of sugar. Stir through until the sugar is solved.

3. Put aside to cool down.

4. Once the brine is cold add the salmon for 2 hours.

Smoking time:

5. Prepare your smoker for indirect cooking on low heat (90°C/194°F)

6. Remove the salmon from the brine (pat it dry I forgot this part...)

7. Toss the apple wood chunks between the coals. Once the temperature is right and your smoke turns slighly blue, You can put the salmon in the BBQ.

8. Smoke until the salmon is done

9. Sprinkle some fine fresh lemon pepper on top before serving.

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All opinions shared are my own.