Smoked Seafood Dishes in Chicago

New to the menu – applewood smoked seafood dishes at Catch 35 Chicago and Naperville. We believe that great seafood dishes are about the journey. That’s why we’ve captured the most amazing smoked flavors and combined them with the freshest seafood – just for you!

House Smoked Seafood – Catch 35 Menu:

Smoked Shrimp Appetizer – Jumbo shrimp – parmesan cheese – Cajun cream sauce

Smoke Shrimp Pasta – Jumbo Shrimp – asparagus – sun dried tomatoes – parmesan Cajun cream sauce

Cedar Plank Salmon – Brown sugar soy glazed – red pepper flakes – tarragon aioli

Mankind’s history of smoked foods

To preserve seafood, smoking is the preferred method for many cultures for thousands of years.  In preparation of the cold winter months, cultures around the world take a fish like salmon – salt it (dry or wet brine it) and then either hot or cold smoke it.  This process preserves the moisture and enhances the flavors of the seafood.  Smoking is still used today not because the preservation is necessary but because the flavors are desired.  Many varieties of seafood can be smoked and we encourage you to try it at home!

Tried & true smoking techniques

Hot smoke vs. Cold smoke – How are they different?  Well, let’s start off with how they are alike.  Both processes require the seafood or salmon to be wet brined in a salt water solution for 12 to 24 hours.  Now the differences – cold smoke is at a lower temperature ( 20-25 degrees Celsius) for about 12 to 48 hours– essentially curing the seafood so it can keep without refrigeration for a longer period of time.

Hot smoked seafood, on the other hand, is placed alongside the fire that produces the smoke.  The temperature is kept between 80 and 150°C so much lower than other meats but also has a longer cooking time then them.   Best to eat hot smoked seafood sooner than saving it up for a long winter.

Know your woods

Fruit woods – like apple, peach, cherry, and pear – add a light sweet flavor to the smoked seafood.

Birch, on the other hand, is slightly heavier, and is appropriate for a wild salmon like Coho.

In the middle woods – hickory, maple, pecan, and oak – best used on hearty meats like beef and pork.

Heartiest wood – mesquite – moderation is key with this wood.  It is like using chili peppers, too much can over smoke the meat.

World of flavors

Keep in mind when smoking, that eating the seafood or meat is the point and that the smoke flavor enhances it.  Never over power the protein with too much smoke.  When in the hands of experts, smoked seafood and meat is mouthwatering delicious.  Generally, the longer the seafood is smoked the smokier the flavor but hot smoked seafood, due to its closeness to the fire, tends to have a smokier flavor as well. Overall, smoking seafood and meat is an art!  Look no further, Catch 35 is your destination for smoked seafood in Chicago.    Book now for the ultimate seafood dining experience in Chicago & Naperville!

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