top of page

Smoked Whiting Salad

YIELD Makes 2 cups | TIME Prep: 15 minutes (plus 24 hours inactive time) | Cook: 45 minutes | Total: 1 day + 60 minutes 

Smoked Whiting Salad Recipe

Recipe by Heather Arndt Anderson of


For the Smoked Whiting Salad
  • 1 lb. whiting/hake fillet (skin-on is fine)
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 1 finely diced celery rib
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh dill plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper


For the Pickled Onions
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds


Step 1

One day ahead of time, pat the hake fillets dry with a paper towel and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Lay the fillets skin side down on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. (This step forms the pellicle, which helps the smoke flavor adhere to the fish.)

Step 2

Make the pickled onions: stuff the sliced onions into a pint jar. Heat the vinegar and water and stir in the sugar, salt, and mustard seeds until the salt and sugar dissolve. Pour the brine over the onions and affix the jar’s lid. Refrigerate overnight, for up to a month.

Step 3

When you’re ready to smoke the fish, place about ½ cup of mild wood chips (such as alder or apple) onto an 8” length of aluminum foil, then fold the foil over and crease the edges to close. Poke some holes in the foil pouch and lay it inside a large Dutch oven, wok, or hotel pan. Set a rack or inverted steamer basket over the wood pouch and lay the fish on a sheet of oiled foil on top of the rack. Tightly wrap the top of the wok or pan with foil, then set the whole contraption over the burner. Turn the burner on high, then listen carefully for crackling sounds to let you know the wood chips have begun to smolder. After about 5 minutes, reduce the heat to medium and let the fish cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the smoker sit for another 10 minutes to cool down, then take it outdoors to remove the foil so you don’t smoke out your kitchen.

Step 4

Carefully peel off the skin and flake the fish into a large bowl with a fork. Gently fold together the ingredients until evenly combined, taking care not to mush the fish up too much. Taste and adjust seasoning according to your preference. Serve with toasted bagels, Russian black bread, or your favorite rye. Sprinkle more chopped dill on top for garnish and serve with pickled onions.

bottom of page