Recipes - Other Finfish


Cold-Smoked Pompano Or Amberjack

All the fish in the jack family (the most familiar around here are pompano and amberjack) have a higher-than-average oil content, and so are perfect for smoking. This will work for either fish, as well as for salmon, mackerel, or tuna. The fish picks up a terrific smoke flavor throughout, without getting a barbecued taste.

My technique is instructed by Chef Roland Huet, the original chef at Christian's, who developed this for that restaurant's great smoked salmon.

  • 3 large pompano or 2 small (two-pound) amberjacks
  • 1 lb. salt
  • 1/2 lb. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

1. Fillet and skin the fish. If using amberjack, remove the big blood line that runs through the center.

2. Dissolve the other ingredients in a gallon of cold water. Marinate the fish in the brine for twelve hours, refrigerated

3. Using a fruit wood (cherry, apple, or grapevine), cold-smoke the fish at 75-90 degrees for two hours.

4. Slice the fish at a very narrow bias into slices as thick as a coin. Serve dressed with extra-virgin olive oil, dill, and cracked black peppercorns

Serves twelve appetizers.