Candied Smoked Salmon Native American Recipe

salmon recipe

Today we will share with you how to make Candied Smoked Salmon.

The dried salmon is mostly common with tribes from Alaska and those tribes along the North Pacific coastline.

Dried meat has been a way of survival for Native Americans and a food delicacy that is enjoyed today. The drying of meat allowed for Native Americans to store food for longer periods of time and create food resources for the tribes.

The name for this recipe has been called – “Indian Candy”.

There are many different twists on the recipe now but it involves a very similar process in all ways. The first is you need to have Salmon which is the main ingredient. You then prepare the salmon by taking out the bones and skin and cutting the salmon into chunks.

After salmon is prepared, you have to place salmon chunks into a brine which will marinate for 12-24 hours. After this process you hang the salmon to dry. Once it is dry you can already consume the salmon, but it will give it an awesome taste if you smoke it for another 6-7 hours.

One of the many versions of Candied Salmon or Indian Candy

500 grams (1 pound) salmon fillet
50 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup or honey diluted 2 parts to one part water

175 ml (3/4 cups) water
125 ml (1/2 cup) brown sugar firmly packed
40 ml (3 tbsp) salt
3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) fresh ginger minced
2 dried bay leaves
5 whole allspice pods crushed


Remove the pin bones from the fillet.
Cut the salmon into chunks.

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a small saucepan. Heat until sugar is dissolved then Cool.
Pour the marinade over the salmon chunks, cover and refrigerate over night, stirring occasionally.

Rinse the salmon and pat dry with paper towels.
Optional: Cold smoke for 6 hours and refrigerate, covered, overnight.

Preheat the smoker to 180 F.

Brush the salmon with the maple syrup or diluted honey.
Smoke the salmon to an internal temperature of 140 F, brushing every 1/2 hour with maple syrup or diluted honey.
Let cool and serve cold.


On a sunny summer day, the quiet peace of a remote fish camp on a slow-moving branch of the Kuskokwim River became a crazy-busy place of heading and gutting, cutting and hanging.

The salmon were running, and Bethel elders Roy and Ida Alexie, along with daughters, grandkids and extended family, were catching them.

“I’ll take the heart!” 6-year-old Alyssa “Frankie” Wassillie called out as her mom — one of Ida’s many nieces —

Guided an ulu through the crunch of salmon bone and flesh. Life at this Yup’ik camp blends deep traditions with modern twists, bursts of intense work with stretches of easy play and relaxation.

Some very cool facts about the Salmon:

  • Did you know a female spring Chinook salmon carries more than 4,000 eggs?
  • Salmon returning to the Wenatchee River travel 500 miles and over 7 dams from the Pacific Ocean to get to their place of birth.
  • Fish can get sunburns if they are exposed to sun too long.
  • Vocabulary Words to Know:

    • Redd– Nest dug in gravel by female salmon to put her eggs in
    • Anadromous– Fish that migrate from fresh water to salt water and back to fresh water to spawn

  • The oldest known salmon is 7 years old. Count the rings on a fish scale to determine their age…much like counting the rings on a tree.
  • The oldest salmon fossil found is 50 million years old.
  • 5 to 6 million years ago salmon had fangs, weighed over 500 lbs. and were ten feet long.
  • The intricacies of a salmon’s genetic code insist that the salmon always faces upstream into the current, so that when it navigates to the sea it swims tail first.
  • When Lewis and Clark entered the lush Pacific watersheds in 1804, they discovered millions of salmon in the untamed wild Columbia River. At that time 15 to 20 million salmon lived in the pristine habitat of the mighty Columbia.

Indigenous Salmon Teachings

The salmon go through treacherous waters to make it to their destination every single year. It teaches you as a person that there is going to be hardships in your life that you are going to have to battle through just like the salmon.

  • To reflect and understand we are interconnected to all living things
  • A salmon shows perseverance, resilience, patience, and hope
  • Salmon journey 4 years to original habitat to spawn and to die
  • They leave and are reborn, reborn, and reborn
  • They come back to the Okanagan basin each time
  • Women give life and give through ceremony
  • Women give hope to their children and so the salmon give of their lives to keep their species going

I hope you enjoyed this post of the Salmon. Please leave a comment below from what Tribe or Area you are reading from.

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