Smoke Salmon

ala Chan

Why make your own Smoked Salmon?

Because you can.  It is very easy to make and very cost effective.

You don't need a cumbersome smoker!

If you don't have a smoker, just fake it.  Here is how you do it with my secret recipe.

It is worth your while just from cost consideration alone as it cost only 1/3 the price of store bought ready made smoked salmon.

The main cost of making your own smoke salmon is the cost of the fresh salmon slabs which is only 1/3 the price of ready made smoked salmon.

Don't believe mehere is the cost comparison.

Fresh salmon slabs cost less than  S $3/100g.

Fresh salmon slabs costs less than S $3/100g.

This is the main cost of your home made smoke salmon

The salmon are flown from Norway to arrive in Singapore on Thursday.  You get the freshest salmon on Friday.  Cold Storage is a good outlet for fresh salmon.

Ready made smoked salmon are expensive at 

S $12/100g.

Selection are limited in grocery store and very expensive at specialty store. 

You can also buy this gorgeous whole smoked salmon from a specialty store such as The New Grocer in Singapore for a S $100.

Or make your own at one third the price!

Making your own Smoked Salmon.

It is very easy to make your own smoked salmon and it is very cost effective.  Just follow the steps below.

The key is to get very fresh salmon and in Singapore farmed Norwegian salmons are usually flown in from Norway on Thur.  The salmon you get in the store can be stored up to a week in refrigerators.  So it is best to get your Norwegian farmed salmon on Friday when they are the freshest.      

Benefits and Risks of Eating too much salmon.

 The generally accepted benefits of eating salmon are:

Eating smoke salmon gives you a variation from traditionally steamed, fried and sashimi salmon.

But eating excessive amount of Norwegian farmed salmon is not good for you because of the contaminants the fish has been exposed to.  See this exposé on contaminated farmed salmon.

Risk of eating traditionally prepared smoked salmon.

The greatest risk of eating traditionally prepared smoked salmon is food poisoning from listeria contamination.  Although very rare, eating traditionally prepared smoke salmon runs the risk of fatality from such contamination has been reported.  Two people in Victoria and New South Wales have died after eating smoked salmon contaminated with listeria, health authorities report.  Both were over 70 and had underlying health conditions.

Risk of eating smoked salmon using my recipe.

Where do you buy salmon for making smoked salmon using my recipe.

Places you can buy air flown Norwegian fresh salmon are Cold Storage, Sheng Siong and the Wet Market in this order of preference.

My preferred outlet is Cold Storage as it clearly labelled what day the package was prepared thus you have an idea how long the salmon has been defrosted.

You can also get nicely packaged fresh frozen salmon slabs from Ace Fish Market

De-skin and thoroughly wash in cold water the fresh salmon slab.  Rub hickory smoke essence onto Salmon slab. Then pack Salmon slab with an equal amount of mixed salt and sugar. Put the package in a freezer preferably at -4°C .  The freezing and pickling will kill any parasites. Wala, after 5 days you get perfectly “cured” smoked salmon. Try it, it is cheap and very good. Taught to me by a Swedish phd candidate when I was his examiner at Karolinska University many years ago. Since I have made this recipe many times and each time it turns out great.  Fantastic with Sushi rice, seaweed and wasabi.


150 gm Chilean salmon from Ace Fish Market. Comes in 150gm/slab

Fresh frozen Chilean salmon.

You can also get nicely packaged fresh frozen salmon slabs from Ace Fish Market.

This online seafood outlet specialise in locally farmed fish.  You can Whatsapp them at 8812 9638.  They are quite response and their online order service is excellent.

These salmons are not the same as Norwegian farmed salmon since they are from Chile and are certified to follow the best aquaculture practice.  It is safe to consume them in larger amount than farmed Norwegian salmon.

The salmon slab are frozen below 4 C and thus parasites are killed and safer to eat uncooked as in my recipe.

Fresh frozen atlantic salmon from Treasure Grocer


This healthy and delicious slow cured recipe is a perfect use of good quality fresh salmon. Enjoy the quality! 

1 kg of  fresh salmon filets

2/3 cup kosher salt (optional) or regular salt

2 cups brown or white sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup or molasses (both optional)

2 tablespoon of Hickory Liquid Smoke is the key ingredient

Preparation Method is simple as outlined below.

Select Salmon belly fillet with fat as it is tastier. 

Wash the fillet in cold running water

Then scrap the flesh with the edge of a sharp knife to remove any residual contaminant and wash under running water again.

Use a sharp knife and deskin the fillet.

Rub and pack fillet with equal amount of salt and sugar.

Sprinkle the fillet with liquid smoke.

I prefer the Hickory type.

Then tightly wrap the fillet with the salt and sugar rubbing with saran wrap.

Put in freezer and turn the temperature down as low as you can, preferably below 4 degree C.

After leaving fillet in the freezer at minus 4 C for 4 to 5 days, wash off the salt and sugar rubbing and soak in cold water for 20 minutes to remove excess.
Then add a few drops of liquid smoke back to bring the smokey flavor back.

I prefer eating my salmon in slices.

I usually eat my smoke salmon on top of a bed of sushi rice sprinkled with Nori seaweed and sesami seeds.

Ichiban oiishi!

There are many ways to eat your smoke salmon.

One way is to eat it with cream cheese on a bagel, toast or cracker.

Serving your home made smoke salmon as d'oeuvre is always a welcome treat.