You may not pay any attention to the way your fish is prepared but there is a lot that goes into it. There are two main techniques that work really well though, and that is hot and cold smoking.
Hot and Cold Smoking
One of the oldest ways to preserve fish is through smoking. Hot smoking the fish cooks it and flavors it at the same time while smoking and curing it. In order to achieve this, you need to put burning wood chips in a kiln and place the fish beside the wood chips. This is done for anywhere from forty minutes to two hours. The length of time in the kiln is dependent on the size of the fish.
Cold smoking is where fish is cured and flavored using smoke. In order to achieve this, the fish needs to be placed in a chamber that is not heated and smoke is then pumped into that chamber for twelve to forty eight hours. If you smoke the fish longer, then the flavor of smoke will be more intense. Following this process, the smoked fish is ready to be consumed.
Hot vs. Cold Smoked Fish
The texture and taste of the fish can change depending on the kind of smoking you used. The difference is usually the temperature at which the smoking is done. Cold smoked fish is excellent when smoked at 25°C or 77°F. When it comes to hot smoking, you need to keep it at around 70°C to 80°C which is 158°F to 176°. Anything below 60° or 140°F can lead to breeding of bacteria. If the temperature is too high, the fish will end up becoming chewy and dry. The best fish for smoking is fish that is fattier or oily such as trout and salmon.
Which is the Better Method?
This is really dependent on individual taste. When a fish is hot smoked right, it becomes creamy and delicate. One of the most popular fish to be hot smoked in Indonesia is milkfish. Cold smoking, on the other hand, creates depth in smoky flavor, enhancing the fish natural texture and taste. Hot smoked milkfish is often enjoyed with hot rice and sambal (chilli sauce), whilst cold smoked fish such as smoked salmon is often served with bread, eggs, herbs and cream cheese. Nevertheless, in terms of combinations for both hot smoked and cold smoked fish, the possibilities are endless!
That’s what we can share with you this time. Look forward our next blog which contains more information about hot smoked fish and cold smoked fish. Meanwhile, take a look at our fish products and see how you like it smoked.