Slow Cooker

Hot Smoked Salmon, Soba and Asian Greens Salad

May 13, 2010
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 4 for a starter and 2 for a main course
Author Notes

I got hooked on hot-smoked salmon while living in England where my corner fishmonger sold me some of his personally recommended local stuff. I had to limit myself to buying this only once a week. It was sweet and salty, firm and creamy all at the same time. The “hot” here doesn’t mean spice. It’s the temperature at which the smoking process occurs (between 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit), which fully cooks the fish, giving it a light pink silken internal texture a tawny, smoky skin. I used it in maki rolls, with asparagus and hollandaise and in my daughter’s lunchbox. And I concocted this Asian-inspired noodle salad which has a good contrast of flavor, texture and color.
You may be able to find good hot smoked salmon where you live and by all means use it to make this salad as a very easy, very cool dinner on a hot night. I, unfortunately can’t get my hands on the good stuff in Central PA, so I’ve learned to hot smoke my own salmon for this recipe using a stovetop smoking contraption involving my wok, a bunch of tin foil and the lid of my lobster pot, a trick adeptly demonstrated by former New York Times Magazine food writer and current food editor Jill Santopietro. The link to her video is: - cheese1227 —cheese1227

Test Kitchen Notes

Smoking sounds so intimidating and time consuming, right? We're here to tell you it's not. You don't even need a stove top smoker. We used Amanda's wok, lined it with foil and set the fish on a round cake rack set above the wood chips. After sealing the wok with more foil, we simply turned on the burner and let it smoke away. (It does help to have a good fan above your stove.) The salmon, which is brined before smoking, emerges from the smoker taut and bronzed, infused with five spice powder, salt, sugar and soy sauce. You can also broil or grill the salmon if you want to skip setting up the smoker -- you just won't get that rich woodsy flavor. Then it's up to you to either leave the salmon whole or break it into bits to mix with soba noodles, tatsoi and a kicky ginger dressing. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Hot smoked salmon
  • 1/2 pound fillet of salmon (I used wild caught sockeye, because the color is lovely.)
  • 1/4 cup cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice
  • Soba noodle salad
  • 8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 4 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Mirin
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup warm water, more if necessary. You want this to be somewhat thin as it’s more of a broth than a dressing.
  • 2 cups small tat soi leaves, whole
  1. Hot smoked salmon
  2. Cut salmon fillet lengthwise in two even pieces.
  3. Combine salt, sugar, say sauce and Chinese five spice with 1 quart of warm water and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Let fish sit in this brine for one hour at room temperature.
  4. Remove fish from brine, dry it completely and place on a rack. Put rack uncovered in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
  5. Using a stove-top smoker, smoke the salmon for about 8 minutes at a temperature in the range of 145-50 degrees. Allow salmon to cool completely.
  1. Soba noodle salad
  2. Prepare the soba noodles as directed on package. Rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, soy sauce, mirin, ginger, sugar and sesame oil. Add water to desired strength. Toss about half of the dressing with noodles.
  4. Divide tat soi leaves into bowls and mix with the dressed noodles.
  5. Either leave the salmon whole and set it atop the noodles or break it into bite-sized pieces on top of the salad.
  6. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the completed salad and serve immediately.
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I am an excellent eater (I have been all my life). I’m a pretty good cook (Ask my kids!). And my passable writing improves with alcohol (whether it's the writer or the reader that needs to drink varies by sentence.). I just published my first cookbook, Green Plate Special, which focuses on delicious recipes that help every day cooks eat more sustainably.

57 Reviews

NXL August 26, 2021
I was intimidated by the smoking process, so I cooked the brined salmon in a skillet. Didn't have access to the unusual greens, so sued kale. Would have preferred more in proportion to the noodles. Very good flavors and easy to make.
Ilikebeer March 10, 2021
Does the salmon really only take 8 minutes at 145-150? Every recipe I have followed for smoked salmon takes 2 plus hours.
Kaja1105 July 5, 2016
I've been making this recipe for a few years, and I'm not sure if I've commented on it before, but it is off-the-hook delicious! I have a friend who requests this every year for her birthday. This is the raison d'ȇtre for my stovetop smoker.
cheese1227 July 6, 2016
That made my day!! Thanks for letting me know that it brings so much pleasure to your table!
Chef D. November 28, 2015
Smoked fish, I approve !
Kevin F. May 23, 2014
Made this last night and the wife and kids loved it. Wife said, "This is restaurant quality". Hot smoked the salmon on my grill offsetting the charcoal and a using a chunk of cherry wood. Prep was easy but the flavors were big. Served this close to room temp, but may chill it next time to experience this cold.
mvangraaf April 5, 2013
What wine(s) would you serve with this dish for company?
Kaja1105 August 24, 2014
It is delicious with a crisp, dry white. We've also enjoyed it with cold sake.
cheese1227 August 24, 2014
Excellent recommendations!
Rivka July 27, 2011
Thinking of trying my hand at this lovely recipe this weekend, but wondering if it would be tasty served cold. Any thoughts?
cheese1227 July 27, 2011
Oh most definitely. I love this cold. I love most Asian salads cold.
AntoniaJames May 7, 2011
I'm gearing up to try this . . . what kind of wood chips should I buy for this purpose? (I don't own any, and don't remember ever having bought them, so I don't have a favorite.) Many thanks. ;o)
cheese1227 July 27, 2011
Sorry AJ, I just today saw this as comments on my recipes have been going into the spam filter. I just used oak, actually.
FewPinkJasmine December 6, 2010
I like to eat salmon and noodles.
This combination is great!
I'm hungry ~
foodie-pretense July 26, 2010
I made this yesterday subbing lightly stir fried yu choi for the tai soi; it was excellent.
Rhonda35 May 23, 2010
Our little town has a new "European-style" market house next to our weekend farmer's market. One of the vendors sells smoked fish and their salmon smoked with Chinese 5-spice and green tea is out of this world! If I'm feeling lazy, I will buy some and try serving it this way. Also, in response to some of the questions about smoking techniques, I have smoked fish and chicken on my electric stovetop using a disposable foil pan (actually, I used 2 to double the thickness), a small cake rack and aluminum foil. This works on a grill, too.
cheese1227 May 23, 2010
Lucky you!! I was talking with a chef about smoking fish over tea leaves. He tells me that is a Japanese technique. I have to do some research on what kind of tea leaves and how many. If I find that info out, I'll pass it along.
AlBurns May 22, 2010
Congratulations jupon receipt of the editor's pick. Judt learning to enjoy smoked salmon and will tru this recipe ASAP. Great picture, as well.
dymnyno May 21, 2010
My farmer's market fishmonger has wonderful smoked salmon each week. But, what is tat soi?
cheese1227 May 21, 2010
It's a variety of Asian cabbage that is slightly peppery. I get it here in Central PA because it's a hearty spring crop and all the farmers at my market grow it -- and sell it. I've also seen it at Asian groceries. If you can't find it, you could use baby spinach or I've made it with pea shoots as well.
Sugartoast May 21, 2010
This looks amazing. I logged on this morning to look up the porchetta recipe but couldn't resist the photo and had to check the recipe immediately! Thank you so much, can't wait to try this. Also, just want to say I LOVE Jill Santopietro's little videos - wish she could have her own food show, she's hilarious and informative!
cheese1227 May 21, 2010
Excellent! Maybe we should start a Jill fan club on FB....
Lashburns May 21, 2010
What a beautiful photograph! The recipe sounds wonderful and tasty.
cheese1227 May 21, 2010
I would imagine if youcan get the electric wok hot enough to do a proper stirfry than it could get hot enough to smoke. Good luck. Let me know how it turns out!
melissav May 20, 2010
This looks awesome. I have an electric wok. Do you think it would work in that?
cheese1227 May 21, 2010
Hi Melissa,

THe comment above was actually meant for you.
AntoniaJames May 20, 2010
Cannot wait to try this. I've never smoked anything this way, so I'm thrilled to see that it is so easy. (And fortunately, I have a quite powerful hood over my stove.) I cannot believe, sometimes, how much I learn, day to day, just visiting food52! Many thanks to the editors, and to cheese1227 for this amazing recipe. ;o)
mrslarkin May 20, 2010
Congrats, cheese! This is in my saved file. (I need to get a wok!)
cheese1227 May 21, 2010
Thanks mrslarkin!
Aliwaks May 20, 2010
Sounds delish.. do you think it would work on a gas grill rather than stove top??
cheese1227 May 20, 2010
I think you could easily do this on the grill in on of those disposable roasting pans covered very tightly with aluminum foil. Let me know how it goes.
drbabs May 20, 2010
I loved the way this recipe sounded when you first posted it. Unfortunately, like moneymom, my fan is terrible---but I wish I could taste it! (maybe on the grill outdoors?)Congratulations!