Hickory Smoked Fish

22 Feb

So, its Wednesday night. I’ve been trying to make Wednesday nights our regular seafood / fish night and for two weeks running, I’ve succeeded! Last weekend, I watched the Master Chef DVD for the Master Classes. I have to say, I got a lot of inspiration out of the video. This dish is inspired from that video.


1 cup hickory chips
1 cup rice
½ cup sugar
½ cup salt
½ cup loose leaf tea
firm fish fillets or whole fish


  1. Soak the hickory chips in water sufficient to cover them for at least 2 hours prior to using. The longer you soak them, the better the smoke! Drain the chips and discard the liquid.
  2. Mix the rice, sugar, salt and tea in a large bowl. Add in the chips, and toss through. Line a large wok with aluminium foil before pouring the chip mixture evenly into the wok bottom. Place a wire wrack in the wok so it sits above (not touching!) the chip mixture. With the lid on, place on a very high heat and allow to get very hot – about 20 – 30 minutes on the highest heat setting (bottom left picture above).
  3. Place the fish on a small amount of aluminium foil and place straight on to the wire wrack. Steam (lid on) for about six minutes or until the fish is cooked and flaky (bottom right picture above).


  • I over cooked our fish. It was only on for 10 minutes so please, watch your fish! Also, make sure it is a fair amount above the chips so it smokes rather than is cooked by the heat in the chips.
  • Ensure the aluminium foil that the fish is on is only just large enough to support the fish or it will hinder the movement of the smoke.
  • I got my hickory chips from BBQ Galore. Any BBQ shop or good food agent should stock them.
  • Add whatever flavour tea you want. I used a combination of green tea, vanilla flavoured green tea and peppermint tea. I could definitely taste the green tea flavour in the fish! The hickory flavour is subtle and comes on late, but is so smooth and more’ish.
  • The chip mixture melted into a solid mess on the foil so to save yourself a lot of clean up later, ensure there is plenty of aluminium foil beneath the chip mixture and the wok.
  • The favours of this dish were amazing, and on the verge of overpowering. I suspect that is because I overcooked it. I have plans to smoke some chicken next week using the same method but substituting rosemary and thyme for the tea. Watch this space!
  • As always, this fish is the skinless hoki fish from Aldi. The manufacturers claims that their produce to be caught within the boundaries and guidelines of the NZ government sustainably quota. Please, if you use fish, chose  fish that you know are fished within quotas using sustainable fishing practices. Mother earth will thank you for it.
  • Diabetic Note: There are no real carbohydrates really in this dish when served with a salad. The fish and salad combined may attribute to 3g carbohydrates, so this is a meal you will definitely be careful with. Some chips, a slice of bread or a little dessert would make up for that in the yummiest way possible!
  • Joe had originally asked me to cook chunky oven baked sweet potato chips to accompany this meal, but I forgot. It would have worked a treat! Next time…

Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Food: Diabetic Friendly, Food: Ethical Eating


Tags: , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Hickory Smoked Fish

  1. Rahel

    February 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Hey there 🙂 I love the idea of “ethical eating” and I was wondering how you justify for yourself to eat fish if the seas are completely overfished and the fishing industries now plunder areas overseas (Africa…) where then the local communities no longer get enough fish (with their much more sustainable fishing techniques…) I know I’m simplifying but I’d love to hear your point of view on this!

    • mizrhi

      February 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Rachel.

      Its a HUGE question that you ask here. You might remember in this article that I said I had just started to consume fish again because of the ethical issues associated with fish. You are over simplifying the issue, and it is so much larger than you have said here. It is a topic that I actually want to write in detail about (sustainable fisheries), however, Ill give you a teaser by saying that most fishing is unsustainable in the long term at the current rate of consumption.

      This fish, as I mentioned, was actually marketed as being “sustainable produce”. I did a little investigative research and discovered that all of NZ fish is (specially hoki) is considered to be sustainable produce because it has very strict guidelines regarding annual catch quota’s. (Specially after serious reflection of the orange roughy issues, but again, as I said before, I want to write a whole paper about that so you’ll need to wait til I get to do it!) What it doesn’t address is capture issues that are still posing ecological issues, but it at least goes into some of the facets of environmental protection.

      Sustainable lifestyle choices such as eating is a very difficult subject. It requires a paradigm shift in how we perceive the environment. There are unethical debates about _every_single_food_source we consume. For example, most grains now are genetically modified for increased yield, but the GM causes a whole new can of worms. We irrigate the fields in totally inefficient methods. And of course, we cut down forests in the first place to acquire the fields to grow the grain. Its just one example, but simply put, there are ethical issues regarding all of our food sources. I think it is our mission, as consumers, to make the right decisions to leave the least impact. Hopefully, that is what I do through my choices, and my ability to share them with others.

      • Rahel

        February 29, 2012 at 2:00 pm

        Hey there…thanks for your detailed answer. I’ll definitely check back for your post on this topic. I think it’s very good to think about ethical eating and I agree that it’s very hard. Personally, I believe that eating vegan, local and organic is probably the best combination and that’s what I am striving for. I’m looking forward to more posts of yours!

  2. mizrhi

    February 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I LOVE that idea and I wish (really wish!) that it was economically practical and that supply was always available. I live in a regional area where things need to be freighted in. Grain isn’t grown here; it is too warm here for winter fruits; the cost of living here is higher than it is in the cities ect. These things make it almost impossible to live by that fantastic ideal. Ahhhh if only, huh?

    Keep in touch, and maybe check on my environmental site ( from time to time as it will be the source for my environmental posts.


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