Jerky is having a moment. From grass-fed beef jerky to hormone-free turkey jerky and pork jerky with honey and fruit, this lean, high-protein snack is now available in gourmet varieties. Manufacturers are cutting back on sodium and doing away with artificial preservatives, making jerky that’s healthier than ever. But you don’t have to buy it. You can make your own jerky at home, and you don’t need a dehydrator to create delicious dehydrated treats. Try this salmon jerky recipe, and make your own protein-rich snack at home.
Once you’ve tried out the recipe, you can experiment with different flavors: spicy and sweet, smoky and rich, fruity and with a kick. This salmon jerky recipe uses smoked paprika for a deep flavor that doesn’t require liquid smoke. The potent, bright red spice is balanced by fresh citrus juice and sweet molasses.
While cooking, your salmon will lose about half its volume, so keep in mind that you won’t end up with the same amount that you started with. This salmon jerky recipe requires at least 12 hours of marinating and a few hours of cooking, so make sure that you plan ahead.
Salmon jerky is a salty, savory snack that goes very well with beer. You can keep this jerky for up to a week in an airtight container, stored in a cool, dry place.
1 ¼ pounds fresh Wild Alaskan Salmon
½ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Couple of dashes of hot pepper sauce (if you like things spicy)
Remove the pin bones from the salmon. If you don’t know how, ask your fishmonger to do it for you – most will be happy to do so with no charge. You’ll also want to remove the silver flesh from the top of the fillet, but leave the skin on. Slice the salmon fillet into thin strips, about ½” wide. For easier cutting, pop the fish in the freezer for 45 minutes before you begin.
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In a non-reactive mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, lemon juice, molasses, smoked paprika, freshly ground pepper and pepper sauce. Whisk together until everything is well combined.
Add salmon strips to the bowl with the marinade, making sure that every piece is coated well. You can also use a plastic bag. Let the salmon marinate for at least 12 hours.
Remove the salmon from the marinade, and pat dry with a towel.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon pad. Coat the paper or pad with a think layer of oil, so that the salmon doesn’t stick. Lay the salmon strips out evenly on your baking sheet, with space in between each piece.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook the salmon for two to three hours total, flipping halfway through. The final jerky should be crispy and sticky – and absolutely delightful.
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Salmon image via Shutterstock