Hot smoked salmon?
Has anybody ever heard of hot smoked salmon? I have called my local fish store and Grand Central Market's fish store, and all the fish folks were clueless. If anybody could please tell me what it is and where I might find it in Manhattan, that would be wonderful.
The most sublime hot smoked salmon (and cold smoked, for that matter)that I have ever tasted was from an small, artisanal smokehouse in Maine this past fall - the Sullivan Harbor Smokehouse. So lucious and buttery that I'm sending out gifts of salmon for lucky friends of mine this holiday season. Very friendly and accomodating folks at Sullivan Harbor, I might add.
I smoke my own salmon and it's hot smoked - with the smaller home smokers (I use a Little Chief) you don't have a choice - the temperature is just too hot - around 185, so the fish cooks to some degree. Even with a separate smoke box it's hard to get the same consistency that you get when you smoke in a cold room - "nova style". During the winter, when it's 30 degrees outside, it turns out closer to the traditional cold smoked. It can be sliced thinly across the grain, where the hot smoked tends to flake. All the smoked salmon I found while living in Washington state was always hot smoked - "indian style". They do sell hot smoked in the supermarkets in this area (MA) - there's a brand that sells plain, peppered, some other flavors. I don't have it in front of me, so I can't tell you the brand name. (Not as good as mine anyway...) There's a company in Alaska that sells it on the net. I actually haven't bought their Salmon, but I have some of their Black Cod or Sable - it's very good. See URL below. (Note that they call their smoked salmon LOX, which is wrong, of course - but what do you expect for Alaska?)
Not sure where you might get some in Manhattan, but when I was in London in the fall, one of the best meals I had was "hot smoked salmon" at City Rhodes. This was "smoked salmon" that was "hot", not salmon that had been "hot smoked" (I don't know if there is such a thing...) so I'm not sure if that's what you meant. Anyway, it was a large chunk of smoked salmon, that was well, hot. Incredibly salty but very flavorful.
Explanation is quite simple. Smoke salmon is cured using a cold smoking techique whereas some is hot smoked over a live fire. Imagine placing thoroughly soaked wood chips on a pan over nicely burning coals so that the wood smoke is infused into the fish while the heat cooks the fish. The result is a firm filet that flakes like cooked fish. The cold smoked fish retains a texture closer to raw fish. Now, I don't know where you can buy it in a store in NYC but I'm guessing Zabars would have it. I buy it from a Mail order company called Harry and Davids.
Their website is at : http://www.harryanddavid.com/
search for Northwest Smoked Salmon
It's to die for! Hope this helps, Leslie