Smoky Maple Salmon Jerky Recipe

This salmon jerky is sweet like candy with a hint of smokiness.

From "Dried & True"
January 2017

Total Hands-On Time: 4 hr 30 min

Preparation Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 4 hr

Dried & True (Chronicle Books, 2016), by Sara Dickerman, shows you how to make every dinner party, lunchbox, and on the go snack more delicious and nutritious using a dehydrator. From jerky to vegetable crisps to fruit leather, Dickerman provides over 75 recipes that can be incorporated into baking, cooking and even cocktails! This excerpt comes from chapter five, "Jerky."

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Dried & True.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, semidried, smoked “salmon candy” is a popular snack. You’ll find it in specialty food shops and little coastal convenience stores. I relish the deep-down chew of the salmon candy, but I don’t like quite so much sweetness since it masks the flavor of the fresh salmon. This recipe is my take, with maple syrup rather than brown sugar, and a pinch of paprika to lend a smoky taste with­out the hours of smoking. Look for sockeye or silver (coho) salmon for this recipe — they’re less fatty than the majorly expensive king or Chinook salmon and work better for dried recipes.


• 1-1/2 lb [680 g] sockeye or silver salmon fillet
• 1/2 cup [120 ml] soy sauce
• 1/4 cup [60 ml] maple syrup
• 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika


1.  Remove the pin bones from the salmon with a pair of twee­zers or pliers. (To find the bones, run your fingers along the ridge of the fillet from the head end to the tail. The flexible pin bones are lined up in a row.) Trim off any other bones near the belly area of the fish. Starting at the head end of the fillet, use a very sharp knife to cut the fish on the bias into 1/4-in [6-mm] thick slices. Put in a large bowl and refrigerate while mixing the marinade.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, pepper, and paprika. Pour the mixture over the salmon slices and gently toss to coat. Let marinate for 3 hours, and then drain the fish thoroughly. If not drying right away, put the drained salmon slices on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
3. Line dehydrator trays with non-stick mesh sheets that have been lightly coated with cooking oil.
4. Lay out the salmon on the prepared trays. Dry at 160 to 165 degrees F [71 to 74 degrees C] for 3 to 5 hours, blotting occasionally with paper towels, until dry and leathery to the touch and chewy. Let cool completely.
5. Store in an airtight container, preferably with a silica gel packet to extend freshness, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. 

More from Dried & True:

• Blackberry-Blueberry Leather Recipe
• Semidried Tomato Petals Recipe

Reprinted with permission from Dried & True by Sara Dickerman and published by Chronicle Books, 2016. Buy this book from our store: Dried & True.