My husband has recently gone a little crazy for smoking foods. He’s bought a bunch of hickory chips and uses the hooded BBQ and various trays and levels he smokes sausages and bacon and steak and garlic and jalapenos and whatever else he can find. He’s constantly trying to think of ways to improve his set-up and experimenting with different ways to do it better and hopefully find the best, most consistent way. So far the things he has had the most success with are sausages. He’ll smoke up a dozen or so and I’ll use them to make gumbo or cowboy beans or whatever could benefit from some hickory smoke.
With his smoke-obsession in mind, I recalled seeing a recipe for tea-smoked chicken in a magazine I was flicking through while waiting for a physio appointment. A quick google showed that tea smoking is a fairly common and simple task. I thought it was different enough to not step on his hickory smoked toes, but still a delicious experiment. This smoked mackerel is perfect served hot with soba noodles and sauteed Asian greens, or on some jasmine rice with a simple salad. But I think I loved it most cooled, flaked and served as part of a cheese board.
To be honest, I don’t know the science behind requiring the rice, but every traditional tea-smoking recipe I came across used equal parts long grain rice and tea. And who am I to mess with that? Make sure you turn your rangehood/exhaust fan on if you’re making this inside.
½ cup gun powder green tea (or other green tea)½ cup jasmine rice
2 tsp brown sugar
2 mackerel cutlets
Salt and pepper
Zest of 1 lime
First prepare your ‘smoker’. You’ll need a pot/wok and a steamer that fits it and a whole bunch of foil. At least double fold a piece of foil that will fit the bottom of your pot, fold up a few centimetres of each side to create a sort of foil bowl. Mix the green tea, rice and sugar together and put it in the foil bowl. Put this bowl into your pot/wok then put over a hot flame.
Pat dry the mackerel cutlets, then season each side with salt and pepper, and some grated lime zest. Place these into your steamer basket.
When the tea mixture starts smoking, put the steamer over the top and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve immediately with rice and salad or allow to cool, flake and refrigerate. Serve on a cheese board with Pickled Pink