Smoking food is an ancient technique. It is said that smoking dates back to the time of primitive cavemen. Seems caves or chimney-less huts had smoke trapped inside. When hunters would hangs meat in such dwellings, it would dry out with a distinct flavour and would remain preserved for long. That is how smoking began. Later the curing techniques were added where food was first put in salt or salty liquid (brine) and the smoked. As cooking processes evolved along with human beings, different varieties of smoking began to happen and special gadgets were also invented. But in my humble kitchen neither do I hav such gadgets nor the inclination to buy one. So I googled for techniques to smoke fish on stove-top. Here is the recipe based on my research about this amazing smoked fish which sure will tantalize you with it’s subtle flavours of tea and lemon.
500 gms Salmon or any fish cut into 4-5 inch fillets
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice + 3-4 pieces of Lemon Rind
1/2 cup White rice
1 Star Anise
4 tbsp Green tea or Black tea leaves
Few sprigs of Dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Aluminium foil and steamer
Carrot pickle and Soba Noodles to serve
Marinate the fish fillets with salt, pepper, lemon juice and dill for 2 to 3 hours (it can be 30 mins too depending on the time you have). Take 3 big squares of aluminium foil and place on top of the other. Line a big steel pot with the foil and crumple the edges in order to make a large bowl with walls. Put the rice, tea leaves, 1 tbsp salt, star anise, lemon rind and few drops of water in this foil bowl. Take the steamer and line it with baking sheet. Place the fish fillets on it, cover the steamer, put it on the pot and put the pot on the stove-top.
Keep sprinkling few drops of water every 2-3 minutes and cook the fish till done. I cooked the fish for 15 mins till the salmon had the most beautiful pink that I have ever seen.
Serve it hot with some steamed soba noodles, soy sauce, lemon juice and pickled carrots (I julienned carrots, and soaked it in some salt, sugar and vinegar)
Planning to try out smoking some chicken breasts or lamb cutlets next time. Will update the post later if they turn out to be successful!