Salmon is a versatile and delicious fish that can be transformed into a fantastic jerky. Not only is salmon widely available, but it is also a nutritional powerhouse rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals. The unique flavor of salmon, with its fresh salinity and buttery richness, makes it the perfect canvas for creating a savory and nutrient-dense snack.
Discover the Perfect Recipe
Whether you’re looking to spice up your kitchen, searching for an alternative protein source, or have a surplus of fresh salmon, salmon jerky is an unexpected and delicious treat. At Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, we’ve tested numerous batches to bring you the perfect recipe that showcases the full potential of salmon jerky.
Influenced by Japanese cuisine, our salmon jerky marinade combines soy sauce, miso, rice vinegar, sesame, and honey. This marinade enhances the natural flavors of the fish without overpowering them. As the salmon dries, it transforms into an appetizing mahogany color, beautifully accented by sesame seeds. The result is a jerky that looks as good as it tastes.
How to Make Salmon Jerky: Step-by-Step Guide
1. Prepare the Salmon
To begin, chill the salmon in the freezer until it’s firm but not frozen. This helps with slicing. Cover the salmon and place it in the freezer for approximately 15 to 30 minutes. While the salmon chills, you can prepare the marinade.
2. Slice the Salmon
Remove the skin from the salmon and cut it into fillets. If you’re working with a full side of fish, break it down into more manageable pieces. Slice the salmon against the grain into strips that are between ⅛” and ¼” thick. It’s important to maintain even thickness throughout for consistent drying.
3. Mix the Marinade
In a plastic bag or non-reactive bowl, mix the marinade ingredients until the honey and brown sugar are fully dissolved. This ensures a well-blended marinade. You can use a whisk, fork, or spoon for this step.
4. Marinate the Salmon
Add the salmon to the marinade, ensuring each piece is coated. It’s best to add the fish one piece at a time to ensure even coverage. Toss gently to coat every nook and cranny of the fish.
5. Let it Marinate
Cover the fish and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, but no longer than 24 hours. Occasionally toss the bag or bowl to ensure the marinade fully penetrates the salmon. Our recommended marination time of 16 hours has been carefully determined through extensive testing.
6. Prepare for Drying
If using an oven, preheat it to 165°F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on each sheet. If using a dehydrator, set it to 165°F.
Arrange the marinated fish on the wire racks or dehydrator screens. Avoid overlapping the pieces to ensure even drying. Let excess marinade drip off and lightly pat the salmon jerky dry with paper towels for an optimal drying process.
7. Cooking the Salmon
In the oven, cook the fish for 3 to 6 hours, rotating the pans and flipping the salmon at the 2-hour mark. Begin checking for doneness at the 3-hour mark, cooking in 15-minute increments until it reaches the desired texture.
In a dehydrator, cook the salmon for 3 to 6 hours without rotating the screens. Start checking for doneness at the 3.5-hour mark, adjusting the cooking time as needed.
Once cooked, let the salmon jerky cool before relishing its flavors. You can enjoy it right away or store it in an airtight container. The jerky will stay fresh for up to a week at room temperature or refrigerate it for up to a month.
Additional Tips and FAQs
- Slice the salmon thinner than beef jerky, between ⅛” and ¼” thick, to ensure proper drying.
- Remove the salmon skin before drying to prevent it from becoming tough and chewy.
- Use the lowest possible oven temperature to avoid excessive browning.
- Is salmon jerky healthy? Absolutely! Salmon is extremely nutritious, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and essential vitamins.
- Does salmon jerky taste good? Yes, indeed! Salmon jerky has a rich and complex flavor with a delightful blend of ocean salinity and buttery richness.
- Is it safe to dehydrate salmon? Yes, as long as you follow proper cooking and drying guidelines, it is safe to dehydrate salmon for jerky.
- How long does it take to dehydrate salmon? The drying time can vary from 3 to 8 hours, depending on the thickness of the fish and the cooking temperature.
- How long can you store salmon jerky? Enjoy it within a week at room temperature or refrigerate it for up to a month.
- How do you use salmon jerky? Salmon jerky makes for a fantastic on-the-go snack. Pack it and enjoy it wherever and whenever you like.
- Can you make jerky out of fish? Absolutely! Fish jerky, especially salmon jerky, is a nutritious, flavorful, and convenient snack option.
For any further questions about salmon jerky or to learn more about Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, visit our website here. Experiment with this recipe and savor the deliciousness of homemade salmon jerky.