Oven Smoked Fish Recipe:
Cure gutted fish in brine mix for 24 hrs. or overnight. Brine mix: 1 part salt, 1 part sugar, some black pepper, allspice and aromatic herbs. Use 2 tbsp. of mix to a pound of fish. Herbs: sage, thyme, bay leaf, rosemary, mugwort. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) can be locally wild harvested, it is invasive here in the US and grows practically everywhere. (We at VIFarms use Invasive weeds in our cooking to help save native plants and support health of local ecosystems. Good for you and for the Planet. To learn more about Edible and Medicinal Invasive herbs, visit http://www.VIFarms.com, book “FOOD under your FEET”).
If you don’t have a smoker, you can smoke fish in an oven like this:
Place cured fish on the cookie sheets or directly on aluminum foil and on the racks. Place another cookie sheet or a piece of foil, filled with dried herbs, directly on the bottom of the oven and turn the oven on to a 150-200F. The herbs on the bottom will slowly burn and produce aromatic smoke. Continue the process for 4-5 hrs. or until fish is ready and have slightly firm consistency. With slow heat and smoke fish will cook and dehydrate simultaneously. Add more herbs if necessary, during the process. Smoking herbs are Mugwort, Sage and Lavender.
Speaking of too much fish: Russia does not have lots of ocean, but we have lots of forest with numerous rivers, lakes and ponds and fishing is a very accessible and popular family pass-time. Winter fishing is popular, when men drill through the thick ice on the lakes and sit there for hours. You won’t see many kids or wives during the winter fishing though, there are mostly men.
In fact, any kind of foraging is popular. You can find entire family gathering and roaming forests in search of wild mushrooms, berries and herbs.
Here in NYC, we get our fish from fresh sustainable catch from RI fisherman, via Gabe The Fish Babe fish Club. I highly recommend becoming a member, for she promotes consumption of under-utilized species of fish – like Dog Fish (shark), helping to keep eco-balance in the ocean. Besides, the service is great, delivering the fish right to your neighborhood, if you are in the service zone.