Forget the expensive smoker. You can smoke fish with household materials and ingredients and get the same earthy flavor.
Smoking is a cooking technique that uses the smoke of an indirect fire to lightly cook and flavor your food. Here are two ways to smoke fish at home without an actual smoker.
On the Grill
You can get the same smoky flavor to your fish by simply using the grill.
You will need two baking sheets (preferably not your best ones), a metal cooling rack, some foil, sawdust or wood chips as fuel, and of course a grill.
See how it’s done in this video.
On the Stove
For this trick to smoke fish, you can use any kitchen pan you have that will fit the fish you are working with. A wok is best because it has that helpful slope to the edges. Whatever pan you decide to use, make sure it does not have a non-stick coating on it. If so, this cooking technique may ruin it.
Cover your wok completely with foil. We want to smoke the fish, not the pan. Use long enough pieces so that the foil hangs over the rim of the wok about four inches.
For fuel, you can use sawdust or wood chips of course, but you can also use things you have right in your pantry. You can use white rice mixed with some loose-leaf green tea.
The green tea gives the fish a great flavor and you can add other woody spices to the mixture like rosemary sprigs or cinnamon sticks. Using these items for your pantry is just as easy and also cheaper.
Once you have your wok covered with foil and your rice mixture and spices mixed together, place the rice mixture at the bottom on the wok.
For a less smoky flavor, cut a round piece of foil to cover the rice. This will make just enough of a barrier between the smoke and the fish to mellow the flavor a little bit.
Place your fish onto a metal cooking rack and place it into the wok. You want it about two inches from the bottom of the pan.
Cover the wok with a domed lid and turn your burner to medium heat. After about four minutes, or once you see a little bit of smoke rising from the pan, use the extra foil hanging over the rim of the wok and fold it up over the edges of the lid. This will seal in most of the smoke.
Reduce the heat to low and let your fish smoke for 15 minutes.
Don’t forget to open a window and use the exhaust fan because smoke will escape from the pan.
Don’t go out and buy a smoker because you are craving that delicious flavor of smoked fish, use these two hacks to make your own smoke fish simply on the grill or on the stove.
Recipe adapted from NPR