COOL: The man who makes his own smoked salmon

Posted on June 13, 2011 by


Ole smoking that salmon (photo: Amelia Troubridge)

You may or may not have noticed but EIC has a massive thing for smoked salmon. So when we bumped into Ole of Hansen & Lydersen Smoked Salmon – we were like ‘mate, do you smell of fish all the time?’ to which he replied, ‘yes mate, all the time.’ Thankfully Ole – who is quite dashing (and from Norway ) – let us ask him some even more intelligent questions on the smoking and curing of our favourite fishy. Here’s what happened…

Have you ever smoked anything besides salmon?
Yes I have. I have smoked Sel de Mer, a French grey sea salt, hand-harvested the old fashioned way after simple solar evaporation. Smoked sea salt is a delicately flavoured food additive which should be tried by everyone.

What colour should smoked salmon be? [In Tesco it looks like they’ve added red food dye to river cobbler]
A smoked salmon’s colour should look like a sunset. When it comes out of the kiln that’s how it looks. The vacuum-packed stuff looks bleak because it follows a bleak mass production process. This often involves injecting the fish with a hypodermic syringe containing a solution mix of dye, salt, sugar, spices, and sodium nitrite! (maybe they are trying to copy the real stuff with chemicals?)

Is smoked salmon better in bagels, bridge rolls or rye bread?
Smoked salmon is by far, and I stress again by far, much much much better on rye than in any of those cheap, gummy, mass-produced bagels made with bleached industrial flour. I have no idea what bridge rolls are, honestly I thought bridge was a card game!!

What goes best with smoked salmon?
A bottle of good local white Tariquet, or an old cask strength whiskey like Laphroaig. Anyone who hasn’t tried my smoked salmon with strong peated whiskey should. The strong alcohol is taken away by the oiliness of the salmon which makes that exact combination go hand-in-hand. Please try it. You could also cut sashimi-style thick cuts, present it nicely on a plate and serve with sake. But if you are alone just cut your way through a whole side and eat with your fingers. mmmmmmm.

What’s the best London market food you’ve eaten?
Richard Haward’s oysters are sublime.

How much would it hurt if you were slapped round the face with a smoked salmon?
It would not hurt it would feel good.

Do you get your fish from the Thames or somewhere else?
There is no salmon in the Thames anymore. After being out at sea for a while, salmon are very picky about a river’s quality – and they can feel that the Thames is still not in good enough condition. Apparently the last salmon caught in the Thames was in the 1800s and sent to the King at Windsor. Today, I think we would all love for salmon to return to the Thames: that would mean we’ve done something right!

How do you smoke a salmon and do you use tobacco?
I would have to kill you if I told you but yes I do use tobacco when I feel like it.

We think the salmon flavour is overpowered by the hollandaise sauce in the popular breakfast dish, Eggs Royale. Would you say this is true?
For sure. Why pollute the taste and the purity of something that is beautiful.

Could you live on smoked salmon alone?
Oh No. I would miss my wife.

What about un-smoked salmon, namely salmon sashimi. Do you eat that?
I eat unsmoked sashimi every time I am filleting. What a luxury! I even have a stash of secret dips at my smokehouse. But if you want to check out a proper unsmoked product check out my friend’s cured salmon company Fiskmann.

Smoked salmon or biltong?
Smoked salmon. Come on please…

Smoked salmon or fillet steak?
Smoked salmon. smoked salmon smoked salmon smoked salmon. sm sm sm sm sm sm

Smoked salmon or Stevie Wonder?
Nanananana BORN IN THE USA….. please, you can not mix music with food. They are two very different senses. Read Rudolf Arnheim and you will understand.

Smoked Salmon or a year’s oyster travel between zones 1 and 2 completely FREE?
Smoked salmon. Take a bike!

wow just wow. (photo: Issy Oakes)

If Smoked Salmon was a cartoon character, what would he/she look like?

How many salmons does it take to kill a shark?
Depends, which type of shark? Have you heard the North Pacific salmon shark, that’s a real species and a good predator too!

How many salmons do you have hanging in your smoking dungeon right now? Who else is there?
48. My wife because she came to make love.

How would you feel if someone tried to smoke you?
Hmmm. I’m not sure that is going to ever happen.

What is the difference between smoking and curing?
Curing is the word for the whole process. It could also describe the salting process before the actual smoking. You can get unsmoked cured salmon like gravlax that has simply been marinated in a mixture of salt, sugar and herbs or spices.

Do you smell of salmon?
All the time unfortunately. Some hate it and some love it. Most people hate it.

Would you consider making a dress out of smoked salmon for Lady Gaga to wear at this year’s People & Food Festival? [We’re not sure where it’s being held yet… ]
I would like to design her a dress out of my salmon skins. Please do let her know and I will fly my pattern cutter in.

All their salmon is from sustainable sources and never touches the real kicker…it tastes BUFF!

So there you have it salmons are sharks and smoked ones are better than all other foods… but don’t compare ’em to music.

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Posted in: COOL