Easy and versatile smoked fish recipe with wild halibut fillets

Smoked Wild Halibut

You will not believe how easy it was to smoke fish, especially in the Little Chief. Once smoked I find the fish fillets keep better frozen and it's much more easy to handle and versatile than fresh fillets. You can add smoke fish to any salad, sandwich, or even a quick dip to satisfy guest during spontaneous get-togethers. In the article below I used boneless and skinless wild halibut. If you can, keep the skin on for extra moisture and flavour.

I'll admit I was a bit intimidated at first therefore I reached out to Connor Gabbot @TalusCreative for some tips. For those that don't know, Connor has 20 years of cooking under his belt before he took a dive head first into photography and film. He's working on a cookbook project and I cannot wait to try out some of the recipes once it's out! Disclaimer he didn't actually give me measurements, it was simply a brainstorm of flavours and I added in my own twist to his ideas.

The fish dip idea I got from Connor was so addicting I ate it every day for two weeks. Not even kidding, I even pondered on quitting my job and opening my own smoked fish dip company. If you decide to indulge and make some - brace yourself for many late night visits to the fridge.

Fish Marinade

Sweet soy, white vinegar, dried chilli flakes, garlic, maple syrup, salt and black pepper. Let it sit in the marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Cooking Method

All you need is your Little chief and some alder chips but any type of wood chips will taste great. If you have a smoker where you can control the temp I would keep it at 160 degrees. I only used 1 tray of chips that were soaked to slow down the burn. The fillets smoked for 6-8 hours. The time varies on how thick your cuts are but I would poke at them and if it feels firm you’re good to go.

smoked wild halibut fish fillets

Ideas on how to enjoy your smoked fish

Serve cold with salads (as pictured)

Olive oil potato salad - grainy mustard, olive oil, cilantro, pickled red onion potato salad

Lemony-parm brussel sprouts - charr sprouts in butter and capers on a cast iron pan. Dress them in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, dijon salt and pepper. Grate fresh parm over everything, the more the better.

The very addicting smoked fish dip

Smoked fish dip - A base of cream cheese and a few tablespoons of mayo to loosen things up for easier dipping. Flavoured with caramelized onions, chilli flakes, smoked paprika, fresh garlic and shallots, and dill or sweet pickles. Served with tortilla chips or your favourite cracker.

I realized there are no measurements on this because really you can’t go wrong. Just be mindful that little is always more. Remember you can always add salt but you can’t take away salt. That being said if you don’t like “cooking from the heart” and would like some guidance, feel free to send me a message and I’ll be more than happy to give you my best eyeball of measurements.

Happy cooking!

Jenny