Chinese Red Pepper and Orange Smoked Salmon


  • 2 Salmon boneless fillets; 2 -3 pound each
  • 1 part coarse salt (or kosher salt)
  • 1 part sugar
  • Chinese red pepper (Szechuan or Sichuan pepper)
  • 4 – 6 Oranges
  • Cognac, or brandy


  1. In a small bowl mix equal amounts of salt and sugar together; what amount is not used can be stored and used at a later time.
  2. Check fillets for pin bones, and remove them using needle nose pliers. Place both fillets skin side down; dust lightly and evenly with coarse salt/sugar mixture, or apply according to your taste.
  3. Cover the fillets with Chinese Red pepper (they are not spicy), then slice 2 to 3 oranges for each fillet and cover the fillets with orange slices.
  4. Reserve one whole orange, and with that orange cut it in half and squeeze some juice all over the fillets.
  5. Chinese Red Pepper Salmon - prepared and refridgerated

    24 hours later, ready to be scraped.

    Next sprinkle a little bit of good whiskey or brandy (Cognac) on the top.

  6. Cover both fillets with plastic wrap, skin side down, and put them in the refrigerator 40°F (4°C), with some weights on top and refrigerate for 24 hrs.For weight you can either place a cast iron pan on top, or a cookie sheet with a few cans of food on top or other type of weight.
  7. After 24 hours, take the fillets out of the refrigerator, and unwrap. Using a plastic or wooden spatula scrape the tops of the fillets to remove the peppers and the “residue”, do not soak or rinse the fillets.
  8. Scraped Salmon, ready for smoking

    Salmon that has been scraped free of pepper and residue.

    Place fillets back into the refrigerator, uncovered and allow them to air dry about 4 to 6 hours. Remove fillets from the refrigerator, and place fillets in the smoker.

  9. During the first hour I bring the temperature to about 150°F (66°C).
  10. After the first hour, apply smoke and continue to cook for about 3 hours, keeping the temperature at 150°F (66°C) until done. Thicker fish requires a longer smoking time.

Please feel free to apply as much smoke to your fillets as you have done so in the past. I smoked the fillets with cherry/apple for 4 hours. Enjoy!!