Fishermen love their Jerky! Beef, Elk, Deer, Antelope, Moose, if it can be Jerked, they Jerk it! What about FISH?
We catch a lot of perch, pike, walleye, whitefish, trout, and other tasty piscatorial favorites. If you have returned from Alaska, or other destinations, you may have a boatload of Salmon, halibut, or… Fish are best fresh, so here is another way to enjoy them as a healthy anytime savory snack.
If your fish are average sized, scale and filet them. Do not remove the skin. It helps hold the dried fish together. Larger fish are thicker and can also be fileted into flat pieces. Fresh, firm fleshed fish work best. This recipe is for 2 lbs. of filets.
You want to use a filet knife to slice the fish into ¼ in thick and 1-inch-wide strips. Each piece should have some skin attached. You will want to soak the scaled and washed filets in a glass dish or Ziplock bag. Overnight is best but even longer will work.
The marinate is made from, 1/25 cup Soy Sauce, ¼ cup of Pineapple Juice, 1 tbsp. of Brown Sugar, ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tbsp fresh minced Ginger, 1 tsp. of salt, ½ tsp. of fresh pepper. Make enough marinate to soak the volume of fish that you have. (Instead of the salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, you can just use Old Bay seafood seasoning to taste.)
When ready to smoke or dehydrate, discard the marinate. Smoke the fish as you would any meat Jerky. Spray any racks or grates with oil to prevent sticking. You are looking for 145 degrees. Slow and low is best. Pad the strips dry and place foil below to catch drippings.
After 2 hours or so, reduce the heat to 130 degrees. You want the Fish Jerky to be flexible, but dry. Brittle is too much. It should not break when you bend it. The Brown sugar will give it a nice brown finish. Allow the Jerk to cool and store in an airtight jar, container, or plastic bag.
Enjoy! We are what we eat!
For more Montana Grant, smoke him out at www.montanagrantfishing.com.