Ephim Mooninís Recipe on

Smoke Fish

As told to Gordon Norman

Smokehouses are places where people hang their fish and smoke dryíem and they got racks on them where they could hang the fish on.

The purpose of a smokehouse is to dry the fish and give them a smoke flavor. The kind of wood to make the smoke flavor is cotton wood.

It doesnít matter, most people smoke king salmon, silvers and reds, it really doesnít matter. Mostly salmon and a little bit of halibut maybe. Your fish are cut in half leaving the back bone out and for smoke fish the kind you put salt on you smoke them in brine. Dried fish you just hang in there, you donít have to put salt on them.

You dip it in the brine, okay. The way you make the brine is, first you put in so many cups of salt in a bucket. It depends on the size of the bucket. You put some water in it, and the way you can tell if the brine is right, you put a potato floats, the brine is just right

The fish donít have to be the same size, they can be big, small or however you want them.

Smoke fish is called squaw candy. They can keep it for three weeks.

It depends on the size of a smokehouse. Like mine I got, I got a small one which is a 6 by 6 foot smokehouse and it is ten feet tall. The most I put in there is 40 reds. Thatís quite a bit of fish.

For smoke salmon, you can cut them in strips of about half an inch wide or maybe little more, and dried fish you donít have to cut them in strips. Theyíll just dry and wonít have a smoky flavor.

Best time of the year really is before the flies come out, which is in May and June, when the red salmon season is. In the fall silvers run. Kings come out same time as reds do. When kings come out you have to take really good care of them. When youíre smoking silvers be careful so flies donít lay eggs on them and so they donít get maggots.

The way you can do it is put a vent in the smokehouse, put on some kind of a screen so the flies canít come through and keep the smoke going at all times to keep the flies out. Some people I heard put a little bit of pepper on their smoked salmon and that keeps flies away. If you see any eggs laying on the fish, you just scrap them off with a knife and keep the eggs off of them.

Ephim Mooning and his smokehouse



Copyright 1981,Kenai Peninsula Borough School District.All rights reserved

Volume 1