"Smoked" Salmon Candy

"Smoked" Salmon Candy
Photo by Grace Parisi

Sweet, smoky salmon "candy" is like a juicier version of jerky. You don’t need any fancy equipment—just an oven and a wire rack. We’ve replaced regular salt with smoked salt in the overnight brine, which gives it a similar flavor to what you’d get from a wood smoker. Found in most supermarkets or online, look for smoked salt that is produced naturally and has an appealing flavor profile like alderwood, hickory, maple, or applewood. This method is great for all types of salmon, but is especially terrific with rich, fatty king and flavorful sockeye.

"Smoked" Salmon Candy | Sitka Salmon Shares

Prep time: 15 min
Total time: 26 hr
Serves: 4


  • 1 pound salmon
  • ¼ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup, plus more for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons smoked salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed



Pat the salmon dry and remove any pin bones but do not remove the skin. Cut the salmon crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices.


In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, smoked salt, pepper, and ½ cup water, stirring to dissolve completely. Transfer the brine to a sealable bag or a non-reactive airtight container and add the salmon. Press out the air, then seal and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more candied it will be. 


Drain the salmon and pat dry. Arrange the salmon on a lightly oiled wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour. The surface should be tacky. 

Preheat the oven to 180°F.  Cook the salmon until caramelized and firm, about 1 hour, brushing once or twice with maple syrup while cooking. Let cool completely, then serve.

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Pro Tips

Pair it Up

Pair it Up

A crisp and refreshing lager balances the sweetness of the maple–brown sugar brine. For wine drinkers, a bright, citrusy sauvignon blanc is just the ticket.

Level it Up

Level it Up

The smoky-sweet brine holds many possibilities for flavorings. Add a sprig of rosemary and strips of lemon zest, or fennel seeds and strips of orange zest for a Mediterranean flair. Or add cumin seeds and chipotle powder for an extra spicy Southwestern kick. 

Change it Up

Change it Up

Fold into scrambled eggs for a delicious breakfast, or bake onto  flatbreads with brie and chopped scallions for a hearty snack.


*The information displayed is our analysis of the recipe based on its ingredients and preparation, and should not be considered a substitute for professional nutrition advice.

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