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Smoked Whitefish Salad

Smoked Whitefish Salad is a staple at Jewish deli's, smoked whitefish salad is just as delicious at breakfast as it is during happy hour. Its 5 o'clock somewhere, if you can catch it, you can eat it.

  • Difficulty2/5
  • Prep time15 mins
  • Cook time4 hrs
  • Serves4
  • Recommended HardwoodAlder


Kosher Salt1/2 cup
Brown Sugar1/3 cup
Cold Water2 qt.
Cheap Vodka (optional)2 cups
Whole Whitefish, gutted, skin-on1
Celery, diced1/2 cup
Red Onion, diced1/2 cup
Fresh Lemon Juice1 1/2 Tbsp.
Fresh Dill, minced1 1/2 Tbsp., plus additional sprigs for garnish
Mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann's3/4 cup
Sour Cream1/4 cup
Medium-grind fresh Black Pepper1/2 tsp.
Whole leaves of Radicchio or Butter Lettucefor serving
Bagels, Bagel Chips, or Cocktail Breadsfor serving


Prepare the brine: Combine the salt, brown sugar, water, and vodka, if using, in a large shallow container such as a roasting pan.

Add the fish, then cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours. (If desired, keep the fish submerged in the brine by topping it with resealable bags of ice.) Remove the fish from the brine and rinse thoroughly, inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. (Discard the brine.)

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).

Place the fish on the grill grate. Tuck 2 or 3 balls of foil in the cavity so the interior gets more exposure to the smoke.

Smoke the fish for 3 to 4 hours, or until it flakes easily when pressed with a fork and has an internal temperature of 150F. Let cool, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Make the salad: Remove the skin and break the fish into flakes; remove any pin bones you find. (There are a lot of them!) Add the celery, red onion, lemon juice, dill, mayonnaise, sour cream, and pepper. Stir gently with a rubber spatula to combine.

To serve, mound the salad into leaves of lettuce or radicchio, if desired, and accompany with bagels or bagel chips, crackers, or cocktail breads. Garnish with sprigs of fresh dill.

  • Difficulty2/5
  • Prep time15 mins
  • Cook time4 hrs
  • Serves4
  • Recommended HardwoodAlder

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