Author Topic: Kippers  (Read 8025 times)

Offline manxman

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Kippers
« on: September 02, 2011, 12:32:32 pm »
Dalglish and Smokeville asked if I could post some information on making kippers.

Whereas the Scottish have haggis here on the Isle of Man we have kippers....... smoked herring.  :)

First of all you need to get hold of the best herring you can, they need to be fresh, firm and fat..... scanky herring will not make good kippers and no amount of smoke will mask poor quality ones.

Fat content varies between virtually zero and around 20% depending on where they are in their reproductive cycle. Up to a point the higher the fat content the better the kipper and certainly the fat content needs to be greater than around 8%. Obviously it is not easy to find out what the fat content is but fresh caught local herring that are getting close to the local spawning season will have a reasonable fat content, once they have spawned or "spent" the fat content drops and the water content increases.

However the higher the fat content the quicker they spoil.

Method:

1. Butterfly the herring through from head to tail along the top of the fish and open out so only the bottom of the fish keeps the two halves together. Leave the backbone in place on one or other side, no need to debone.
2. Remove gills and guts. The head can be left on,very useful if hanging the fish to smoke them.
3. Wash thoroughly to remove loose scales, blood and gut bits.
4. Brine in 80 degree brine for about 15 minutes +/- 5 minutes depending on size. I always use sea salt.
5. Either pat dry or allow to drip dry, I tend to leave overnight / for a few hours at fridge temperature.
6. The fish can either be hung from wooden dowling in the BS or placed on the BS jerky trays.
7. Use of frog mats is recommended.
8. If hanging the fish they need to be kept open using a wooden toothpick or similar.
9. Cold smoke (<30C /90F in this instance) for between 4 and 6 hours depending on preference, there seems to be no great benefit going beyond 6 hours.
10. Oak is the wood of preference for kippers.
11. After smoking has finished allow to cool to ambient temperature whilst still in Bradley. (UK ambient that is which is always less than cold smoke temp)
12. If intending to freeze then do so immediately after removal from Bradley to reduce spoilage, vacuum packing should give a freezer life of 6 - 12 months.
13. If intending to use over next 3 - 5 days leave for 12 -24 hours in fridge first.
14. Remember the kippers still need cooking.... in the oven, on the grill etc.
15. Most recently I cold smoked for 4 hours then switched to hot smoking to bring IT up to about 60C/140F so they came out of the BS cooked, this worked very well.
16. The best way of eating kippers is with your fingers, all the best people do it locally and it is accepted practice!  8)

A good accompanyment is brown bread. Kipper pate on toast is another great way of serving it up.

Hope this info is of interest Dalglish and Smokeville.

Manxman

Offline Dalglish

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Re: Kippers
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2011, 01:02:27 pm »
Brilliant, the biggest challenge I'll face is getting the right quality Herring. As for your brine, what are the ratios of water to salt? I normally go 1 cup to 1 US Gallon....Metric is fine :)

Offline manxman

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Re: Kippers
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2011, 01:22:04 pm »
80 deg brine equates to 2.2lbs salt per US gallon.

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Manxman

Offline Dalglish

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Re: Kippers
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2011, 03:22:57 pm »
Ha, the correct description for brine strength went right over my head. Now that I know 80 degree brine isn't the temperature of the water I'll be fine  ;D

I bet there's another idiot out there that didn't know this so here's a nice table with the details.

http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/sausage-making/curing/making-brine

Offline manxman

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Re: Kippers
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2011, 06:06:22 am »
Quote
Now that I know 80 degree brine isn't the temperature of the water I'll be fine

 :) :) :)

The link you provided is about the best site I have found over the years with a wealth of good information relating to the use of brine at different strengths. One of the most useful bits of info is the salinity of seawater which is useful when cooking lobster, crab, shrimp, prawn etc.

Good luck in finding suitable herring.
Manxman

Offline Smokeville

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Re: Kippers
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2011, 02:14:34 pm »
Thanks, Manxman! I got asked for kippers once again today. Maybe something to try after the Market closes at the end of October....

Offline Kummok

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Re: Kippers
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 12:44:58 am »
Mmmmm Mmmmm....I'm SOOOO wanting to give this a try, ManX! I grew up on 'King of Norway' smoked herring in a tin and can't even imagine how good it would be fresh smoked. ThanX for the enticement!!

Offline La Quinta

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Re: Kippers
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 01:47:29 am »
Manx...so good to hear from you...my husband looked at your recipe and I swear he drooled...he got some smoked kippers from an English store and was not happy...can I adapt this recipe to another fish for him and make it taste the same? We are, after all, in the middle of a desert...not many kippers/sardines here... ;D

Any ideas of another fish that may mimick?

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Kippers
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 01:56:06 am »
During the summer months I frequently run into a man who lives over here but is originally from Scotland, and he keeps trying to talk me into trying haggis.

Though I doubt if I every will try that, if I locate some kippers I will definately try your recipe.


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Offline 3rensho

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Re: Kippers
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 05:52:04 am »
I love kippers for breakfast.  Can't beat it (except you burp smoked fish the rest of the day).  I order mine from a source Manxman posted some time back. 
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Offline manxman

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Re: Kippers
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 07:43:12 am »
Quote
can I adapt this recipe to another fish for him and make it taste the same?

I did a search on the internet and all I came up with was a fish called "alewife" which means nothing to me but may do to others?  ::)

Quote
he keeps trying to talk me into trying haggis.


Haggis is well worth trying, just don't think too much about the ingredients! I have made it from scratch and it was interesting to say the least, tasted very good though although the fat content is high and it is just an occasional treat!  ;)

Quote
except you burp smoked fish the rest of the day

Too true, it is best if you and everyone else you are spending the next 24 hours with all eat kippers together otherwise there is a chance of becoming a social leper for a day!!  :)

Quote
'King of Norway' smoked herring in a tin


We get smoked Norwegian herring in a tin, I love em!  :)

They are one of the healthiest fish having one of the highest omega 3 levels so I try and eat them 2 or 3 times a week but over here we get them in many formats. Kippers, bloaters, buckling, soused, pickled / cured with mustard, dill, sherry and a load of other flavours so we are spoilt for choice!  :)

The Scandinavians and Scottish in particular are the experts at processing them in a whole variety of ways but Manx kippers can't be beat!  ;)

Kippers and sweet cured with onion are my favourites although many other people just regards them as a bait fish!  ::)
Manxman