The Pulled Salmon Sandwich

Pulled Salmon Sandwich

Salmon and Barbecue in a Sandwich

There is nothing to do, in the imagination of everyone, the word “Barbecue” almost automatically associates images of Ribs, Pulled Pork, Brisket, Meat in short. Fish in Low & Slow is a concept that is practically unknown. Even among the publications, except for Karen Putman’s Championship BBQ Secrets, there is almost nothing about it. Yet among the Creole dishes of Louisiana and in general in the Southern States barbecue, Catfish is a classic. I’ve been thinking so much of trying to get it done. I want to create a Pulled Salmon Sandwich, like the way of Pulled Pork. This means I want that tasty mix of tender pulp and thick and crisp bark that only the sugary American rub combined with a long low temperature cooking can give but I want it on the salmon! Here it is not about melting collagen, salmon to dissolve the connective is a breeze and much less. The texture I look for is that of a “stew”, similar to that of codfish to understand us, but with the smoky note and the typical taste of the barbecue in purity.

The idea is to create a complete recipe, including a bun and a dedicated sauce. This is the ideal opportunity to bring a guest among these pages, as was the case with Carlo Alvaro during the test on Hot&Fast. So I explained my aim to my friend Alessandro Trezzi, asking him to make a suitable bun on the occasion. Alessandro is a great fan of baking, besides having the propensity to experiment that is just our case.

Alessandro: “I admit I had a previous test of this and experimenting (from nowhere, as always) with an indirect multicereal dough (soft wheat flour of type 1, single bean sprouts and whole rye) without milk, butter or eggs. It was a good thing, the soft bun and the rustic flavor, typical of the doughs made with stone grounded flour, but they are more “full-bodied”, soft but definitely less melted than a real Bun. When you’ve talked about “pulled salmon”. The image that focuses on my mind is that of a real “cloud of bread”, sustained but not resistant to bite, which would allow your teeth to slip literally throughout the section, Amplifying the sensory experience, and for that purpose, nothing can equal a Brioche Bun made as it should “

Me, on the other hand, I thought as a sauce to a mustard sauce that could counter the salmon’s fatness but in a more fish-friendly version, made with fish broth, cream and white wine. I rubbed Salmon with a classic American rub and I chose a Sweet Rub O’Mine. For smoking I chose instead a combination of cherry chunks and alder chips.


Dill Buns  
(% on flour Kg)

Type 2 wheat flour (280 W)
51% of whole milk
17% of butter
1 egg and 1 yolk perper each flour kg
5.3% of semolina sugar
0.5% of diastatic malt
2.7% of integral salt of Trapani
1% of fresh beer yeast (0.3% if dried)

North Fisherman’s Sauce

2 parts of sweet mustard
1 part of Fish Broth
1 part of White Wine
1 part of whole Milk Cream
q.b. of Flour
q.b. Salt and Timut Pepper

Pulled Salmon

1 half salmon
3 spoons of Sweet Rub O’Mine

Smoke: Wild Black Cherry Chips and Grey Alder Chips


Dill Buns (Alessandro Trezzi)

  1. Combine the cold milk from the refrigerator with sugar, malt and yeast, stirring until it is dissected. Pour the whole flour into the mixing bowl with about three-quarters of the freshly obtained mixture, fit the leaf and begin to knead, gradually increasing the speed so as to contribute immediately to the formation of gluten mesh, which is fundamental to the structure of the desired mixture. The leaf is preferred in the first phase as it helps to better mix the ingredients.
  2. Emulsify butter and eggs in a bowl, both at room temperature, and unroll at least once to the dough and only when the previous quantity is completely absorbed. After the introduction of fat and protein is the time of salt, to be added all together in the center.
    The kneading step is considered to be finished when the mass separates from the bowl and cleanses it, forming a sort of column in the center of the bath. The ideal closure temperature of the dough is about 24° C, since from this threshold all the microbiological processes necessary for maturation start; However, it is advisable not to exceed 27 ° C, above which gluten degrades by compromising the structure of the dough.
    Impasto Bun per Pulled Salmon
    Fase di impastamento con la foglia, a procedura quasi ultimata
    Impasto Bun per Pulled Salmon
    Test del glutine: tirando un pezzo di pasta, se diventa sottile è sintomo che la maglia si è formata
  3. At this point is the time of so-called refreshments: mount the hook, make a few rounds of high speed until all the dough clings completely to the accessory, then repeat two or three times at a distance of 10 to 15 minutes . In this way the mass begins to “take nerve” and assume the final structure.
    Impasto Bun per Pulled Salmon
    Rinfreschi con il gancio
  4. When you finish the refreshments in the bowl is the time of the actual closure on the work surface: dampen your hands slightly and drag the base of the dough to you with your fingers several times to form a smooth ball. Again, repeat this operation two or three times at a distance of 10 to 15 minutes, after which, after a first half hour of resting at TA necessary to start the raising, put the dough into a container with high hermetically sealed edges , Which will remain in the fridge at 4° C for about 36 hours.
    Impasto Bun per Pulled Salmon
    la formazione dei panetti: porzionati, schiacciati, ripiegati e appallottolati
  5. After spending the so-called bet, leave the mass at TA for a couple of hours, then form 100-120g buns, which will go on a plate covered with oven paper and all covered with film. After 30 minutes, dampen your hands and crush them lightly, so that you get discs, and get rid of them with plenty of cover; In our case we opted for a mix of sesame seeds and dehydrated dill leaves.
    Impasto Buns per Pulled Salmon
    i panetti su carta da forno
    Impasto Buns per Pulled Salmon
    i panetti schiacciati e coperti con aneto e sesamo
  6. Let the bread rolls rest for a while, covering with a damp cloth to prevent skin formation, and doubling the volume (after about 90 minutes) spray the milk on the surface and bake in a static mode at 230° C with a pot with boiling water, to assist development and avoid the creation of the surface crust.
    Buns per Pulled Salmon
    Morbidi? Che dici?
    Buns per Pulled Salmon
    Cottura ultimata
  7. Allow them to cool down well on a raised grid to prevent them from getting stuck; Brioche buns stay perfectly stored in the fridge for two days, sealed in a plastic envelope.

North Fisherman’s Sauce

It is a cold prepared sauce on which there is not much to say, just combine the ingredients and homogenize them with a diving blender. Just before the end add about 1 tablespoon of flour every 250 ml of sauce to give more body and some Timut Pepper coarsely grated with the back of a spoon. Timut’s pepper is extremely scented with spicy and citrusy notes, fantastic with the fish. We had already talked about it when I listed the ten types of pepper that you can not miss.
Fisherman's Sauce per Pulled Salmon

Pulled Salmon

  1. First of all, we squares the salmon so to have the more regolar thickness as possible, and have the best ratio between the bark and the pulp. We insert a probe (just to control the temperature trend in relation to the baking behavior), we abundantly rub it and smoke in a WSM47 that we had previously stabilized at 120° C with Wild Cherry Chips and Grey Alder Chips mixed with charcoal.
    Salmone per Pulled Salmon
    Rub per Pulled Salmon
    Carbone per Pulled Salmon
  2. Our goal was to bring the salmon to 100° C, as we would have done with a Boston Butt. Looking at the temperature rise in the first ten minutes we had supposed to shut down everything after half an hour. Instead, it seems paradoxical, but growth began to slow down slowly, and Salmon also stalled: it stopped at 76° C and did not want to move. We then wrap it in a foil pan with three tablespoons of fish broth and we ended cooking with a total time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. We in this test have probably waited too much, that is, until it passed the stall and went up fatally at 81° C. If you need to do it at home, just look at the bark: once you are fully satisfy with it, put it in the foil.
    Bark Pulled Salmon
    Bark Pulled Salmon
  3. We were almost sorry to ruin such an inviting bark but we were glad to have done it when we tasted the pulp that almost became a cream for how delicious it was faded. We added the sauce in such quantity to get the right thickness and we filled the dill buns, not before having them toasted for a couple of minutes at moderate temperature and closed lid in a Q2400. 
    Bark Pulled Salmon
    Sauced Pulled Salmon


Alessandro’s bun was really fabulous: very soft but with a rustic mixture, not overly “swollen”, with a dense note, present but never overwhelming. It was the ideal bun for the purpose.

There is nothing to do, cooking in low & slow is different from any other: the salmon had a powerful and distinctive taste, really unique, very good. The sauce was fine: she cleaned the mouth but did it in a decent way, as it should suit with a fish dish. Perhaps I would just raise the pepper rate that felt but not as much she deserved.

About the whole sandwich what to say … Me and Alessandro agreed that the experiment was perfectly successful: the Pulled Salmon Sandwich is a reality. The possible improvements we have found are definitely a crunchy lettuce leaf as bed of the pulled salmon into the bun  and as possible accompaniment a coleslaw based on winter radish. Do you think of anything else?

Pulled Salmon Sandwich
Pulled Salmon Sandwich


More from Marco Agostini

How to get the best from a Fiorentina

The Techniques to manage it correctly on Grill Into the overall and...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *