I was grocery shopping when I noticed wild caught Copper River Sockeye Salmon for sale. It brought to mind the rare opportunity I had last summer to target some of the world's most prized seafood in Alaska. There are few experiences in life more glorious than casting a lure into the pristine waters of America's last frontier. When it was all said and done, I was getting over a thousand dollars worth of Copper River Sockeye Salmon professionally packed to bring back to SoCal. No joke.
Not dyed, not farmed, just further proof of intelligent design. Such tasty and succulent meat MUST come from a loving creator.
I felt like I needed a Secret Service escort to protect my stash. Even without a security detail, we made it safe and sound to the lower 48. With my "far north" experiences still fresh, I quickly formulated a plan to smoke my salmon "native style". I learned in the village of Unalakleet how a little sweetness can go a long way. I rubbed one filet with brown sugar and salt before allowing my go-to wood, hickory, to work its magic. Another filet got the "Penzey's Spicy Seasoned Salt" treatment. Both spent about 20 minutes in a 300+ degree smoker (until it just began to flake) and both were excellent. Had to put The Fun Foodie spin on it and came up with the ... wait for it ... Smoked Salmon Slider! I buttered up pandesal (traditional Filipino dinner roll), lightly toasted it and adorned it with the rich and flavorful salmon. Folks, there's a reason Copper River Salmon is so hyped. It is incredible! I could almost feel the Omega-3 fatty acids adding years to my life. And the Smoked Salmon Slider might be one of the greatest culinary inventions of all time **pats self on back**. If you're not familiar with pandesal (or if it's not readily available), try it with Hawaiian rolls.
Salt and brown sugar rubbed on the left, Penzey's Spicy Seasoned Salt on the right, Royal Oak lump charcoal beneath.
Smoked sockeye salmon and pandesal ... together at last.
Oh, and just a bit of clarification. I didn't catch any salmon in Alaska. I would get an A+ for effort, but in reality, my fishing experience was an "epic fail". I skunked. It was a kind and generous resident with a fish wheel who bestowed such riches upon me.
But the Smoked Salmon Slider really was my idea!
And a bonus: Panko-breaded halibut! Also wild-caught. Also by someone else.
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