Deliciously Smoky Fennel-Infused Salmon

I’ll never forget the first time I tried fennel-smoked salmon. The aroma of the fennel filled my kitchen and the taste was like nothing I had ever experienced before. The smoky flavor of the salmon perfectly complemented the delicate taste of the fennel, creating a delicious dish that I couldn’t get enough of. After that first experience, I knew I needed to learn to make this amazing dish so I could enjoy it anytime. So, I’m excited to share this amazing recipe for fennel-smoked salmon with you!

Fennel-Smoked Salmon Recipe

Prep Time

15 mins

Cook Time

10 mins

Additional Time

5 mins

Total Time

30 mins


6 servings

Fennel-Smoked Salmon


  • • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • • 6 (4-ounce) salmon fillets


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a small bowl, combine fennel seeds, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and onion powder.
  • Place salmon fillets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush the salmon fillets with the spice mixture.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let the salmon rest for 5 minutes.
  • Serve the Fennel-Smoked Salmon with desired accompaniments. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 115
  • Total Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 29 mg
  • Sodium: 77 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 14 g

What is the flavor profile of fennel-smoked salmon?

Fennel-smoked salmon has a unique flavor profile that is both sweet and smoky. The fennel adds a mild, licorice-like sweetness that pairs perfectly with the smoky notes from the smoked salmon. The result is a flavor that is complex, yet still very balanced and enjoyable.

When buying fennel-smoked salmon, you should look for a product that has been cold-smoked. This process helps to preserve the delicate flavors of the fish and ensures that the sweetness of the fennel is not overwhelmed by the smokiness. Additionally, you should also look for salmon that has been cured with a light brine and flavored with natural spices like dill, garlic, or black pepper.

When cooking with fennel-smoked salmon, it is important to remember that the smoky flavor can be overwhelming if the fish is cooked for too long. To ensure the delicacy of the flavor, it is best to cook the salmon quickly over a high heat and be sure to not overcook it.

Fennel-smoked salmon is a delicious addition to many dishes, and its unique flavor profile makes it an excellent choice for any occasion. With its mild sweetness and smoky notes, it can be used in everything from fancy appetizers to simple weeknight meals. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, fennel-smoked salmon is sure to add a unique flavor to any meal.

What are the benefits of smoking salmon with fennel?

Increased flavor: Fennel gives salmon a unique, slightly sweet taste that is difficult to replicate through other smoking methods.

  • Added nutrition: Fennel adds essential vitamins and minerals to the salmon, making it more nutrient-dense.
  • More tender texture: Fennel-smoked salmon is much more tender and juicy than salmon smoked with other methods.
  • Easy to prepare: Smoking salmon with fennel is an easier and more convenient process than other methods.
  • Long shelf life: Fennel-smoked salmon can be stored for a longer period of time than other smoked salmon varieties.
  • Unique appearance: Fennel-smoked salmon has a unique appearance that can make any dish stand out.
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What types of salmon work best for fennel-smoked salmon?

The best type of salmon to use for fennel-smoked salmon is wild-caught Pacific salmon, such as King, Sockeye, or Coho. These types of salmon have a firm texture and relatively high fat content, making them ideal for smoking. While farmed salmon is a cheaper alternative, it typically has a softer texture and lower fat content, which makes it more difficult to smoke successfully.

When selecting salmon for fennel-smoked salmon, look for fillets with a bright color and no discoloration, indicating freshness. Avoid any fillets that have an unpleasant scent, as this can indicate that the fish is no longer fresh. It is also important to check for pin bones and remove them before smoking the salmon, as these can be unpleasant to eat.

When smoking the salmon, make sure the fennel is of good quality. Fresh fennel has a mild licorice flavor and a pleasant aroma, while old fennel can be bitter and unappetizing. If cooking with fresh fennel, use only the stalks and fronds, as the bulb may be too strong for the delicate flavor of the salmon.

Finally, be sure to cook the salmon slowly and at a low temperature. Salmon is a delicate fish that can easily be overcooked, resulting in a dry and unappetizing dish. Cooking the salmon slowly allows the heat to penetrate and cook the fish evenly, resulting in a moist and flavorful piece of salmon.

By following these tips, you can ensure that the fennel-smoked salmon you make will be delicious and flavorful. Wild-caught Pacific salmon is the best type of salmon to use, as it has a firm texture and high fat content. Select fresh, pin bone-free fillets, use fresh fennel, and cook the salmon slowly, and you’ll have a dish that’s sure to please any palate.

How long does it take to smoke salmon with fennel?

Smoking salmon with fennel usually takes between 2 and 4 hours, depending on the thickness of the salmon and the desired level of smokiness. This method of smoking salmon is a great way to add flavor to your favorite fish, and it’s a relatively easy process.

To begin, choose a salmon fillet that is at least 1 inch thick. You’ll want to ensure it has been properly de-boned and rinsed before smoking. Then, gather your supplies: fennel, wood chips, a smoker, and a thermometer.

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Once everything is ready, prepare the fennel for the smoker. Remove the fronds from the bulb and chop the fennel into small pieces. Place the fennel in the smoker and set the temperature to around 200°F. Add the wood chips and allow the fennel to smoke for an hour.

After an hour, lay the salmon fillet on the smoker’s grates and close the lid. Monitor the temperature of the smoker and adjust as needed to maintain a temperature of 200°F. Smoke the salmon for approximately 2 hours, or until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.

Once the salmon is finished, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.

What other smokings techniques can be used for salmon?

The most common smoking technique used for salmon is fennel-smoking, but there are many other smoking techniques that can be used to bring out the unique flavors of the fish. Some other smoking techniques that can be used for salmon include cold-smoking, hot-smoking, and brining.

Cold-smoking is a smoking technique that uses smoke from burning wood chips, sawdust, or pellets at temperatures between 80-100°F (27-38°C). This low-temperature smoking method is used to infuse the salmon with a mild smoky flavor, while also preserving it.

Hot-smoking is a smoking technique that uses smoke from burning wood chips, sawdust, or pellets at temperatures between 120-180°F (49-82°C). This high-temperature smoking method is used to quickly cook the salmon, while also imparting a stronger smoky flavor.

Brining is a method of soaking the salmon in a saltwater solution prior to smoking. Brining is used to infuse the salmon with a salty flavor while also helping to preserve it. The brine also helps to keep the salmon moist while it is being smoked.

No matter which smoking technique you choose to use for your salmon, the key to success is to make sure you cook the salmon to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). This will ensure that the salmon is cooked to perfection and safe to eat.

How can fennel-smoked salmon be served?

Fennel-smoked salmon can be served in a variety of ways, from simple and elegant appetizers to complex and flavorful main dishes. Depending on the style of cooking, the salmon can be served alone or with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some popular ways to enjoy this delicious fish.

As an appetizer, the salmon can be served cold with lemon wedges, capers, and dill. The smoked salmon can also be served hot, with a side of a creamy dill sauce or aioli. It can also be served on top of a crostini or cracker, with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and a sprinkle of dill.

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For a main dish, fennel-smoked salmon can be served with a variety of sides. The fish can be served with a side of roasted vegetables, such as asparagus or Brussels sprouts, or with a side of creamy mashed potatoes. It can also be served with a salad, such as a spinach or kale salad, or a simple green salad.

Fennel-smoked salmon can also be served in a sandwich. The fish can be served on a toasted bagel with cream cheese, capers, tomato, and red onion. It can also be served on a pita with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Finally, fennel-smoked salmon can also be served in a pasta dish. The fish can be served in a creamy Alfredo sauce or in a garlic and butter sauce. It can also be served with a side of penne, angel hair, or fettuccine.

No matter how it is served, fennel-smoked salmon is sure to be a hit. With its delicate smoky flavor and its moist, flaky texture, this fish is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

What type of wood chips should be used for fennel-smoked salmon?

The best type of wood chips to be used for fennel-smoked salmon is apple wood chips. Apple wood chips have a mild, sweet flavor that pairs nicely with the delicate taste of fennel and the smokiness of the salmon. This combination of flavors creates a tasty, unique dish that is sure to be a hit.

Apple wood chips are a great choice for smoking any type of fish, but they are particularly well-suited to fennel-smoked salmon. The mild, sweet flavor of the wood chips complements the anise-like flavor of the fennel and helps to bring out the natural sweetness of the salmon. The smokiness from the chips also adds an extra layer of flavor that really enhances the dish.

Apple wood chips are also easy to find and relatively inexpensive. They can be purchased online or in most stores that carry barbecue supplies. They come in a variety of sizes, so it’s easy to find the perfect size for your needs.

When using apple wood chips for fennel-smoked salmon, it’s important to make sure that the chips are soaked for at least an hour before using them. This helps to ensure that they burn slowly and evenly, giving the salmon a nice, even smokiness. It’s also important to keep an eye on the chips, as they can burn quickly if not monitored properly.

In conclusion, apple wood chips are the best type of wood chips to be used for fennel-smoked salmon. The mild, sweet flavor of the chips pairs nicely with the delicate flavor of the fennel and the smokiness of the salmon. Apple wood chips are also easy to find and relatively inexpensive, making them an ideal choice for any type of smoked fish dish.

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