I brought my smoker up to 165 F and added one piece of hickory into the ash pan. I didn't want to over smoke this fillet. I just wanted the light hickory flavor that is reminiscent of bacon. I smoked the fillet until the fish was starting to flake and the fat was starting to render from the meat, about two hours.
When finished, I brought the fillet inside and placed in a plastic bag to age for two days. Aging the fish in the refrigerator mellows the smoke flavor, allowing the flavors to mingle.
After the two day wait, I prepared for part two of this experiment. I had some sliced tomato, lettuce, and crusty French bread at the ready. I also prepared some sriracha mayo to top my sandwich. Then, I removed a portion of the unrubbed fillet and prepared to sear.
For searing, I added a touch of olive oil to a sauté pan and turned my burner to medium heat. Once the oil was hot, I slightly seared the meaty side, then flipped the fillet over and seared until the skin was nice and crispy.
Next it was time to assemble the sandwich.
I am happy to report that this sandwich was pretty good. Light hickory flavor and a hint of apple from the brine. Crispy skin, crusty bread, and a bit of kick from the sriracha mayo. Was it like bacon? I am sorry to say no. This was a great piece of smoked fish, but bacon is better left for pork. I will make this sandwich again. But I will not be expecting bacon at all. As for the portion of the fish rubbed with the Oakridge game bird rub, the flavor was outstanding. The Oakridge Game Bird and Chicken rub never lets me down, no matter what dish I prepare using this product.
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