Applewood-Smoked Wild Salmon with Granny Smith Apples

Brian Scheehser

Trellis Restaurant - Kirkland, WA

Chef Brian Scheehser draws on the natural heritage of the Pacific Northwest in this simple and delicious dish. Sockeye are the most flavorful of the Washington salmon, and lightly smoking the fish with apple chips enhances its natural flavor even more. Make sure to smoke the salmon in a well-ventilated kitchen or outside with a grill in open air.


  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 4 six-ounce wild salmon filets, skin off
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) applewood smoking chips
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced
  • 1 bunch watercress


Pour the apple cider into a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat and reduce until it becomes syrupy, about 15 minutes. Keep a close eye on the cider as it tends to cook quickly.

Place fish on a cooking rack or perforated pan inside a cold oven or grill. Put the wood chips in a 13 x 9-inch metal baking pan and heat over high gas flames (on an indoor range or an outdoor grill) and let the chips smoke until they are 3/4 of the way charred, about 6 to 10 minutes. At this point the chips will be heavily smoking. Place the chips in the cold oven or grill with the salmon, closing the oven door or grill lid. Smoke the salmon for 6 minutes. Remove the salmon from the smoke and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Heat a medium-sized saucepan over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Pour the olive oil into the hot pan and immediately add the salmon, bottom sides up, and cook until the undersides are well browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the filets over and cook until just cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes more. Transfer the salmon to a plate.

Melt the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apples and season with salt. Cook the apples, gently stirring, until tender but not soft, about 4 minutes.

To plate, evenly distribute the apples onto each serving plate and top the apples with a small bunch of watercress. Place the salmon on top of the watercress and drizzle the cider reduction around the plate.


4 servings