Red bell peppers, peeled and marinated, with a flavor and texture reminiscent of smoked salmon. Of course it is not a 1 to 1 imitation of salmon that would pass as one in blind taste tests, that’s not the intention. But rather it functions as one as a wonderful toast topping, sushi or sashimi component, or a stand alone appetizer.
Nowadays, I am totally into experimenting with marination, fermentation, and playing with textures to manipulate the ingredients into developing deeper flavors and invoking different senses. Removal of the bell pepper skin makes it more flesh like and reduces the pepper crunch. And it also allows the pepper to be infused better with marination. The sweet and spicy taste of the red pepper is well complemented by the deeply umami miso and the smoke. With the light cooking in the end, the result is an intense and colorful flavor profile that lights up the taste buds.
The recipe, along with a video description is below:
- 2 red bell peppers (remove skin with peeler)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 5 drops of liquid smoke
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon miso (you can use chickpea miso for a soy-free option)
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- ½ teaspoon dry basil
- ¼ teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 fresh garlic, minced
- ¼ onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
- First remove skin of the bell peppers with a peeler.
- Slice the bell pepper into approximate 2 inch (5 cm) wide pieces. Discard the seeds and clean the veins from inside the slices, leaving only the flesh of the peppers.
- With the tip of a sharp knife, score the pepper slices in a fine diamond pattern.
- Mix all the marinade ingredient in a container with a lid.
- Add the pepper slices into the marinade, mix to coat well, and store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, or up to a week.
- Heat the avocado oil (or olive oil) in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the peppers for 1 minute on one side. Pour some of the marinade into the skillet, flip the peppers and cook on the other side for another minute.