Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cured Smoked Yellowfin Tuna Part 2

Two days later I uncovered the tuna from the salt mixture, it was firm and ready for the next steps.  Rinse the tuna of any remaining mixture and pat dry, place on a rack and then back in the fridge uncovered for no more than 24 hours, until tacky.  After that time, its ready for smoking - first I had to dig out the grill.

Once all had been cleared, I removed the tuna from the fridge and placed the rack on a pizza stone and used some balls of tin foil to elevate the rack off the stone for better smoke circulation.

I am hot smoking and try and keep the temperature between 150 and 200 in the grill.  The coals are placed opposite the tuna and the pizza stone helps to initally insulate the fish from any heat from underneith - thats my theory anyway.  I soaked the  apple wood chips and then lay them on the coals, half close the top vent and let it go for 30 mintues.  If the smoke amount gets low toss some more chips on.  Here it is after smoking.

Overall, I think it came out very tatsty.  Some things I would change:  This cut of the fish was not as fatty as I would have liked so I think 24 hours would have been enough for curing.  With the smoking it overpowers whatever spices you add to the mix, so I might use more spice in the mix next time.  Other than that, I was pretty happy with my first attempt.  

Now back to the shop - I should have a spirits cabinet update later next week and maybe some progress on the workbench.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Cured Smoked Yellowfin Tuna Part 1

Most of the big storms have been landing north of us - we didn't escape the snow this time!  We have about 10" new snow on the ground and 50+mph winds today. 

Taking the day off from work my focus is on food!  A good friend gave us some yellowfin tuna he caught and I have been wanting to try to salt cure and smoke some of it.  So, this morning I started to surf around for recipes, found a few that looked interesting and combined what appealed to me from them into this one I am trying. I'll list the ingredients at the end.

We have acquired quite a salt collection and this seemed like a perfect place to use it.  Most recipes I found called for a coarse sea salt or kosher salt as they say it exposed more surface area to the fish.  I used half of our collection and made up the rest with Kosher.

Add all your salt, sugar and spices in a large mixing bowl and using a fork or your hands combine until evenly mixed.

Using a non-reactive pan lay down a covering of the salt mixture in the pan and place the fish on top.  I rolled the fish in the mixture before covering.  Then cover the fish completely with the remaining mixture and pat down.  Next tightly cover the pan with Saran Wrap and weigh down the top with a heavy dish to put pressure on the fish and put it in the fridge for 2-3 days.  I used my sourdough bowl that was already in the fridge.

After that time, wash the fish off and pat dry.  At this point it is ready to eat as is, however, I plan to smoke it.  If so, place it back in the fridge uncovered in a pan or on a wire rack for 12-24 hours. Once tacky to the touch it is ready for the smoker - which will be the subject of the next install on this!


  • 1 pound of yellowfin tuna
  • 2 cups coarse sea slat and/or kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • zest from 2 lemons and limes

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Glue Has Arrived!

The snow subsided enough for UPS to finally be able to deliver my veneer glue.  Snow makes for a nice view from the shop though:

The final two panels for the lower cabinet that will contain bottle storage are in the vacuum press.  The goal is to have it assembled by weeks end.

Here is a veneer panel taped up with another in the tape jig:

With some spare time I continued on with the bench build.  Just about ready for glue up!