Sugar Smoked Salmon with Papaya–Citrus Salsa

recipe photo

This recipe plays with some new cooking techniques like sugar smoking and using the Smoking Gun tool. Luckily it can be prepared the night before! Serves 6.


    Sugar Smoked Salmon
  • 6 4–ounce boneless filets of salmon
  • Olive oil and kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup black tea, preferably Lapsang Souchong
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon anise seed
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • ¼ pound mixed greens or baby arugula
  • 1 shallot minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
    Papaya–Citrus Salsa
  • 3 navel oranges peeled, sectioned and halved
  • 1 papaya peeled, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup minced red onion
  • leaves from 3 sprigs fresh tarragon, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2–3 limes)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a mixing bowl, mix all salsa ingredients together, season to taste and set aside.
  • Brush salmon filets with oil and sprinkle with salt. Line a heavy bottomed roasting pan with foil.
  • Combine the sugar, tea and spices then spread out evenly over the center area of the foil. Place a cake rack on top, and put the salmon on the rack — the salmon should be an inch or so above the spice mixture. Have a piece of foil large enough to cover the pan at the ready.
  • Place the pan over high heat for 2 minutes so the sugar will start to caramelize and smoke, then tightly seal the pan with foil. Turn the heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the stove. Using the Smoking Gun™ , place the hose under the foil cover and smoke for several minutes. Seal in the smoke for a more intense smoky flavor if you prefer, then remove the foil. Carefully transfer the salmon to a plate and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Serve on a bed of mixed greens dressed with olive oil, lime juice and chopped shallots, accompanied by the Papaya–Citrus Salsa.