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Old 02-26-2013, 10:36 PM   #1
steveooo
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Smoked Yellowtail

Smoked Yellowtail

I love fresh yellowtail. I eat it by the pound when it is raw and fresh. I like fresh sashimi, sushi rolls, caveman style with just soy sauce, in ceviche, and I like it when it is fresh off the grill.


Here are a few examples of some fresh YT dishes. Pardon my lack of presentation, Iím a foodie, but not an artist. Trust me- It all tasted delicious.



Yellowtail Ceviche



Hungry Yet?




Yellowtail Rolls



Yellowtail Kama



Caveman Style Yellowtail (my favorite)



Blackened Yellowtail



Yellowtail Stir-fry



Impromptu Yellowtail Appetizer



Yellowtail Kabobs



Yellowtail Ranchero (Another Favorite)




One thing I do not like very much is frozen Yellowtail. Even with great care taken in the freezing process, I do not feel that yellowtail is a fish that freezes very well. Both the taste and the texture are affected so much that I wont even touch the frozen stuff. Usually Iíll just catch my one, eat what I can while its fresh, and give away what I canít consume in a week. Part of the excitement of YT fishing for me, is knowing that I donít have any in the freezer, and that if I get lucky, I get to eat fresh yellowtail. No me gusta the frozen stuff.


That brings me to this post. Last week I was fortunate enough to stumble across a couple decent Yellowtail. I ate what I could, gave away what I could, but was left with still a good amount of fish. Doing some research online, Iíve found people with the same snobbish attitude toward frozen YT as me. After digging around a bit more I found many of those people suggested smoking a YT is a good way to take care of it, because the smoked YT freezes well without changing the texture or taste.


My interest was peaked enough that I decided to give it a try.

Here is the recipe I used to brine the fish.

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

I let the fish soak in the brine for about 20 hours.

Here is what the fish looked like after I took it out of the brine. I let it air dry for about an hour, so the fish could form the ďpellicleĒ.





Next stop was the smoker. I smoked the fish using an Apple Wood for about 2 hours at 190 degrees. The thicker stuff took about 2.5 hours.

Here is the last pic I took, right before I took it off. It has a nice golden brown color.



I let it all cool down, while snacking on it. It was very tasty just by itself. I whipped up an impromptu dip with some cream cheese and put it on a bagel. No pics because it was gone in about 2 seconds. Man that was soooo friggen tasty!

I ended up with about 15 packs of the smoked fish that were all about this size.



I gave away a few packs, froze a few packs, and made a different dip from a recipe I found online as well. I swear the smoked YT dip was like crack. It was insanely good.

Here is the recipe I used


Smoked Fish Dip
  • 1 Ĺ cups crumbled smoked fish
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup finely minced onion
  • 1 stalk finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
  • 3 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)
  • Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste


Put the smoked fish in a medium bowl and add the milk. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to an hour. Stir in the cream cheese, onion, celery, parsley, relish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours until flavors have blended. Serve with your favorite crackers.


Here is a pic of the last bite. It tasted so good that I almost forgot to take pics.






Iím going to keep trying a few different recipes with the smoked YT because this stuff is so good. Just for kicks I defrosted a frozen pack to eat and couldnít taste a difference between it and the stuff right off the smoker. I feel jipped that Iíve been giving away yellowtail for so many years.


Get off the couch, go fishing, head to the kitchen and have fun. Trust me. Try it. Its good.
Steve
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:41 PM   #2
Mr hooks
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Dam I'm hungry

man all looks good nice bro.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:04 PM   #3
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Thanks, can't wait to try my own version of your recipe.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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That's awesome man! Rainbow trout smokes very well too! I smoked it on cherrywood chips and oh man twas good
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:38 PM   #5
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very nice.
righton, thanks for that
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:39 AM   #6
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Smoke the collars!!!


I use almond wood, love the way it burns/tastes


As for the brine, I change I up every time.

Always brown sugar, water, sea salt


Then I add one thing random. Had good results with.....

Beer
Pineapple juice
Apple juice
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:11 AM   #7
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Hell yeah!!!
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:15 AM   #8
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Lookin' good SteveO! Lookin' REALLY good!
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:48 AM   #9
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Great Post! I cant wait to smoke up my next YT. I agree that the frozen YT is not even close to freesh
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:48 AM   #10
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I'd like to try that ranchero style recipe . What's in it?

Damn good post.

Thanks
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:02 AM   #11
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Steveooo it all looks good to me! I have been doing the smoking thing for a while now too for that very same reason. Also, it's great to bring along with me to work and once people see (or smell) me with it, it's magically disappears!
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:08 AM   #12
Baja_Traveler
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I use my smoker more than my BBQ! Everything tastes better smoked - in fact, wife wont eat regular cheese anymore, so I have to always have a supply of smoked cheddar and pepperjack in the fridge.
Lately I've been saving my pistachio shells and using them for smoke - works really well.

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Old 02-27-2013, 07:21 AM   #13
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I'm even more motivated to get out there now than I ever have been. I love yellowtail, probably one of the best fish to eat in the ocean, and to catch. It's been a while since I have caught one so I'm really going to work to get some this year.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:36 AM   #14
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Good stuff steevo! But cheese on yellow tail?
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:46 AM   #15
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what kind of smoker did you use?
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:13 AM   #16
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Steve
Smoked YT is great.
I have been making jerkey out of mine.
After brining just cut into strips about 1/2" thick, light dusting of Chioptle powder, put in smoker until dry. Use less smoke since meat is so thin.
Last longer since it is dry.
Very good.
John
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCS View Post
I'd like to try that ranchero style recipe . What's in it?
Yellowtail Ranchero
4 filets Yellowtail
1 tbsp. Olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
3/4 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
4 Fresh cilantro sprigs


For the Ranchero Sauce:

1 tsp. Olive oil
1 cup Onions, sliced
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
1/2 cup Celery, diced
1/2 cup Green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup Red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 tsp. Jalapeno or Serrano pepper, diced
1/4 tsp. Thyme leaves
1 Bay leaf
Pinch Red chili flakes or cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 cup Diced tomatoes with juice
1 1/2 cup Chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare Ranchero Sauce by heating olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and peppers, saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf, red chili flakes, cilantro, tomatoes and continue to saute for 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Preheat grill pan. Season fish filets with salt, pepper and olive oil. Cook seasoned fish in grill pan until done. Place fish in a baking dish and smother with Ranchero Sauce. Top each filet with cheese. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to platter or warm serving plates. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:25 AM   #18
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Awsome chef stevoo!
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:29 AM   #19
steveooo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbonbass View Post
what kind of smoker did you use?
My pops just recently got a Traeger. That thing is awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j mo View Post
But cheese on yellow tail?
Ya, I know. Its a bit sacreligious. The appetizer on nacho chips? Meh, I could take it or leave it. The cheese on the Ranchero style? The more the better.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:44 AM   #20
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Excellent presentations. If you like mayo and catsup put some on the tostadas de maiz than add the ceviche....hmmm good
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