A lovely gift of several fillets of line caught trout resulted in this recipe, brilliant for those colder months of the year. Trout is always a colour surprise after curing and smoking, developing a vibrant shade of pinky orange, enhanced by our addition of South Asian spices to the cure mix, particularly the turmeric. This not only created an orange halo but also added a truly deliciuos taste dimension. We love to experiment with flavours, but a simple salt and sugar cure mix would work just as well, just omit the extra spices. The trout fillets had been frozen, which is a useful process to eliminate bacteria.
2. Roughly grind the cardamon, star anise and cumin seeds and mix with the salt, sugar and ground turmeric. Sprinkle some of the mix onto the base of a porcelain or food grade plastic container.
2. Lay the fillets on top, skin side down and coat the top surface with more cure mix. Cover and place in the bottom of the fridge.
3. Turn the fillets over and add any remaining cure mix after around 6 hours and cure for a further 6 hours.
4. Remove from the cure, rinse thoroughly and dry with clean tea towels or kitchen towel. Leave on an open rack in the bottom of the fridge for up to 24 hours during which the surface will develop a slightly sticky outer skin or ‘pellicule’, the signal to the completion of the curing stage. The pellicule helps absorb the smoke during cold smoking.
5. Now for the cold smoking stage. We used maple dust because it delivers a lovely mellow flavour, not too heavy so that it would mask the flavour of the trout, but strong enough to complement the slight heat of the cure. Light your ProQ cold smoke generator and lay the fillets on a smoking rack. You can use any BBQ as a compartment, a smoker, a home made cabinet or a dedicated cold smoking unit. (We have a couple of options in the Cold Smoking section of our online shop.)
4. Allow to smoke for 6 to 10 hours. Remove from the smoker and place on a rack at room temperature for a few hours to allow the smoke flavour to settle. The colour is pretty vivid!
5. Slice thinly working at an angle from the thick end of the fillet to the tail end. You’re ready to eat.
- 1kg trout fillets
- 250g coarse sea salt
- 150g soft brown sugar
- 20g cardamon seeds
- 20g star anise
- 20g cumin seeds
- 40g ground turmeric
- maple for a mellow flavour