That’s right. I went jiggy this time. When I first considered this part of me was a little grossed out. I remember when I was living in Sweden the jokes everyone made about cans of fermented fish exploding and how nasty the smell was. And yet for some reason when I ran across the Nourishing Traditions recipe for fermented fish I just had to try it.
I’ve long been a big fan of pickled herring and adore seafood of any kind so this wasn’t a huge stretch for me but it was a huge leap of faith. Would you eat fish that had sat out on the counter for 24 hours? Normally I would not but I have developed an amazing sense of trust in Sally Fallon so when she says it’s ok to eat something I’m willing to give it a gander. I’m referring to the book Nourishing Traditions by Sallon Fallon where this recipe hails. It’s not at all fishy or vinegary and has mellowed remarkably over the course of a week. It’s the perfect mid morning snack with some homemade crackers or rye bread too.
I used Loki salmon fillets which have pre-frozen so as not to worry about any parasites since this fish is not heated, it is fermented. That’s right. Fermented. Because the salmon fillets are already boned all you need to do is a quick skinning and you’ve got a fast barbecue, pan seared or fried meal on the table in minutes. They thaw quickly when the package is submerged in cold water and you can throw a 20 minute salmon chowder together. Can you tell I love having these on hand?
Once the garden is planted I plan to take advantage of the first of the season dill and leeks and make some salmon sausages and patties to freeze for quick barbecued spring dinners so if this fermented fish trip doesn’t float your boat stick around and something fishy is sure to move you during the month of April.
Fermented Salmon adapted from Nourishing Traditions
1 pound salmon fillet, skinned and cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup filtered water
1/8 cup uncooked whey
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 slices of lemon
1 bunch freshly snipped dill
2 bay leaves
8 crushed black peppercorns
2 crushed whole allspice corns
Combine the water through the salt
Pack the fish and herbs into a clean quart sized jar. Pour the liquid mixture over the top of the fish, being sure the fish is completely submerged in liquid. Add more water to cover if necessary. Be sure there is at least an inch of headspace at the top of the jar because fermented foods will bubble. Cover the jar tightly and keep it at room temperature for 24 hours before putting it in the refrigerator. The fish will keep for 2 weeks.
Not only do you get all the health benefits of eating fish with this handy snack but you also get all the probiotics that lacto-fermentation has to offer. This snack is tasty, convenient and good for you. I hope you muster up the nerve to try it!