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Captain Vince's Candied and Smoked Alaskan Salmon Bellies (Candied Salmon)...
March 21, 2019 11:43AM

FYI - Captain Vince is a Mrs. JYD's cousin. He's originally from Ohio but moved to Homer, AK in the early 90s and never left. My first trip to AK was last Summer (June 2018). We stayed with Vince for a few days in his rustic home that overlooks the Kachemak Bay. Great view from his deck.

I call him “Captain Vince” because he spends his free time on his boat in the bay fishing, but more so because he gave up a day of his time to take us Halibut fishing. This is Captain Vince.

I had never heard of candied and smoked salmon bellies before. But damn if the taste / flavor didn’t almost knock me off my feet. Well, after several months and exchanges of texts and emails, I finally got Vince to send me his recipe. I made my first attempt the following weekend after finalizing as many recipe details as I could (late December, I think). I had to do mine a little differently because I do not have a smoker with side heat. I only have a BGE which, as y’all know, produces heat underneath. Hence, I was unable to drop the heat low enough per the recipe requirement to do a "cold" smoke. To make up for it I reduced the cooking time and checked the internal temp regularly. I also had to tinker with the spice amounts because he didn't give me specifics. They still turned out delicious. Not as good as his, but damn.

Here’s how mine turned out.

And here’s the recipe from Captain Vince, pieced together over several long texts. (NOTE: Below I add an option for a wet brine, which is basically adding a few liquid ingredients and then doing the same as the recipe calls for.)

This is a dry brine that will turn to liquid as it pulls water out of fish. Refrigerate for sure. 12-24 hrs plenty. Usually overnight and then use same solution for second batch.

2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup pickling or kosher salt.
2 lbs. King Salmon bellies.

(FYI - I couldn't find the actual bellies, so I just got a fillet and cut it into strips.)

2 LBS King Salmon
1) Cut Salmon into strips
2) Place salmon strips into container for brining
3) Pour brine over strips in container
4) Brine for 24 hours

After overnight brining lightly rinse fish to get sludge off but not trying to remove all.
Paper towel pat dry and then air dry skin side down for 1-2 hours to get dry sheen on fish.

Sprinkle spices / rub on fish while air drying.

Season / Rub (in various amounts, you choose):

Garlic Powder
Chipotle Seasoning
Ground Ginger
Red pepper
Black pepper

Smoke using alder wood for two hours at 80-90 degrees smoking continuously.

Baste with mixture of ½ cup maple syrup & ½ cup honey.

Turn heat up to 160ish for 3-4 hours to cook the fish and smoke some but not continuously.Technically fish once brined and smoked doesn’t need high temps.


If you prefer a wet brine add the following to the dry brine:

½ cup Water
½ Cup Maple Syrup
½ Cup Honey

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/07/2019 03:31PM by junkyarddawg.

Captain Vince's Candied and Smoked Alaskan Salmon Bellies (Candied Salmon)...

junkyarddawg131March 21, 2019 11:43AM

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