This is something I have made over and over again. I first saw it in Donna Hay Magazine and love it for its simplicity and has ever since modified and adapted it to my liking. This is really about the technique rather than the recipe, allow 2:2:1 ratio for the tea leaves:rice:brown sugar. Wrapping it with pancetta is optional but would help prevent the salmon from overcooking and keep it moist.
The salmon could be replaced with ocean trouts and the pancetta could be substituted with bacon too without negatively affecting the taste of the final dish. Use good quality green tea leaves and that would make a whole lot of difference. The sticky chilli dressing speaks for itself and elevated the whole dish to another level!
Green Tea Smoked Salmon with Sticky Chilli Dressing
For the green tea smoked salmon:
6 x approximately 120g salmon fillets, skin-on
6 slices pancetta
6 tbsp green tea leaves
6 tbsp raw rice
3 tbsp brown sugar
Wrap each salmon fillet with a pancetta slice. Toss together the green tea leaves, raw rice and brown sugar. In a wok with a heavy-fitting lid, place a piece of foil in it and scatter over the tea mixture. Place a lightly greased wire rack into the wok,making sure it is not touching the tea mixture. Place the wok over high heat and when the mixture begins to smoke, place the salmon on the greased rack and cover with the lid. Smoke it for 12minutes or until done to your liking.
For the sticky chilli dressing:
1 cup white vinegar
5 tbsp sugar
3 long red chilli, deseeded, thinly sliced into long strips
Place white vinegar and sugar in a smallish saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar over medium-high heat. Add in the chilli strips and continue simmering until reduced for about 5-8 minutes until it is significantly thickened. Set aside and keep warm.
To serve and garnish:
Blanched green beans, enough to feed 2 people
Spring onion curls (sliced into strips and soaked in icy water for a minute for it to curl up)
Place the blanched green beans evenly on each serving plates. Top with the smoked salmon, spring onion curls and drizzle over the sticky chilli dressing.