Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cold Smoked Salmon Vs. Hot Smoked Salmon!

Yeah, this age old battle. It looks similar to what I imagine Gulliver saw as the little folk lined up to square off over which side of the toast the butter is applied. Under or over?

I, of course, eat salmon most ways. But for the time being I need to race off and get to the bank before it shuts. So, when I return we can follow this interesting idea a little further.

Right, made it to the bank so on with the show.

Firstly, the difference. Cold Smoked is salmon which has been left raw and preferably cured for about 24 hours and smoked without heat, hence cold smoked. Hot Smoked salmon needs about 2 hours of cure and is cooked in the smoking process. This leads to marked differences in taste and texture.

My particular preference is for Hot Smoked Salmon. Done right, as with almost all fish, it is delicate with a creamy, almost mousse/pate consistency. I particularly like the fact its incredibly versatile and simple to use making a simple pasta to scrambled eggs or salad restaurant like. Okay, you can get that sort of experience with Cold Smoked Salmon but not the smooth consistency which I think makes the Hot Smoking method so desirable.

I've heard a lot of people talk about the virtues of Cold Smoked Salmon but typically a number have not even tried anything but Cold Smoked Salmon and for others it seems that it is what they have been first introduced to and most familiar with. Usually the comment is that Hot Smoked Salmon is to dry and certainly I have had that experience and I wouldn't recommend that to anyone but when you experience Hot Smoked Salmon done properly, it is an unmissable experience. Don't get me wrong, I happily eat Cold Smoked Salmon but if I had a choice between the two methods, I will 9 out of 10 times choose Hot Smoked Salmon.

Conversely, I have heard others  say they find Cold Smoked Salmon "Slimy". If you find any fish slimy, unless its designed to be eaten that way, its probably worth avoiding. A good Cold Smoked Salmon typically has a firm texture which is due to it having lost water through the osmotic process brought about by curing. Depending on the amount of water lost, you may find Cold Smoked Salmon has a more intense flavour. The smoke as well as helping to preserve the salmon will also enhance the flavour.

However you choose to eat salmon, either Raw, Hot Smoked, Cold Smoked, Cooked or Gravlax, you want to look for similar things; Fresh from a reputable supplier, that its well packaged and that you transport & keep it in the best possible condition and in the quickest amount of time. This should help to ensure that when it comes time to eat your Salmon, either Hot Smoked, Cold Smoked or otherwise, that it will be an extraordinarily good experience. Definitely not slimy.

In the next post, we'll looking at buying and storing of salmon a little closer.

Finally, here's a recipe that has been incredibly successful for numerous customers:

Fettucine with smoked salmon, vodka and dill

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who is the Salmon Man

As you may have gathered, my parents had the sense not to give me a first name like Salmon, and our family name is definitely not Man. My given name is actually Ron (my mother still calls me Ronald which I can still remember being shrieked loudly across the street in my childhood). My family name is Aratema. It is Maori, indiginous New Zealand,  from my father.

Salmon Man is the name of the business I started in 2004. I produce salmon products, as the name might suggest. Mostly Hot smoked, cooked in the smoking as well as other value added product like gravlax, marinated, kebabs and of course unadulterated salmon.

I source the salmon I use from a sea-run farm in Stewart Island in the deep south of New Zealand. They, as with most salmon farms in New Zealand produce King salmon (chinook). I get salmon weekly. It arrives whole and I fillet, pin-bone, cure, smoke and pack it. I predominantly sell at local farmers markets, online and direct. Recently I have move toward selling to on-sellers but prefer the direct interaction and feedback I get from dealing with individuals. Its a rapport that has been priceless with helping me to develop the products and business I have.

The reason I started this blog is because I really enjoy working with such an amazing product and I would love to make contact and share thoughts and ideas through the whole spectrum of what I do, and more, with like minded people.

If you're in Gods Own (NZ) and would like to try something of what I offer you can catch me or someone helping me out at the markets this weekend.

My recipe of the week this week has to be scrambled egg and salmon. There was a time when I'd eat them regularly but just recently for reasons I'll be able to divulge soon, they've been off the menu. Gutting really but hope they'll be back on the menu soon.

Anyway, they go like this. Mix 3 eggs, a splash of cream and season to taste. A bit of oil in a pan on med-high heat until oil is vaporizing and add egg mix. Tilt the pan away from you and with a flat ended wooden spoon pull the mix toward you so that the runny uncooked mix runs down into the area you've just cleared. Tilt the pan in different direction and continue pulling cooked mix up away from the heat until all mix is cooked to satisfaction. Add salmon and eat with buttered toast, or not.

I'm trialling something I'm quite excited about this week. Smoked capsicum. I've also added some smoked garlic and a very nice Balsamic marinade. I'm hoping other get as excited about them as am, they're delicious!

Very much looking forward to a weekend of less rain. Especially as its my beloveds birthday and we're going to the Coromandel with some friends to celebrate it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 1 Blog 1

I was messing around with someone elses blog, pushed a button and then a few more and whadaya know. I am now a blogger! Well, thats yet to be seen.

Any way I like the idea I can share thoughts and ideas and hopefully get thoughts and ideas from others.

Got to carry on working so will look to fill this space a bit ,ore in the near future.

Ron, Salmon Man.