I originally identified these fish as Tasmanian Sea trout in an earlier post and subsequently discovered that I was wrong. The Tasmanian Sea Trout were much larger than the Loup de Mer. So, the picture you see is of impeccably fresh fish that has been cured overnight in a mixture of sea salt, white sugar and Sichuan peppercorns, which were toasted and then ground with the former two ingredients. After curing, the fish were then rinsed and allowed to dry on a rack in walk-in to form a pellicle (or protective skin) before being smoked. The pellicle will absorb the smoke's flavor while at the same time protect the fish from moisture loss during the smoking process.
Once the pellicle was formed I hot smoked the fish with apple wood at 200˚F for 35-45 minutes (one fish was significantly larger than the other), until they were fully cooked.
I have lot of ideas for using the smoked fish. It has been very warm this week. So my mind wanders to seemingly simple dishes like marinated smoked loup de mer, tossed gently with ginger juice, white soy sauce and finely sliced green onions, served alongside chilled soba noodles with a dashi dipping sauce and shredded nori. I probably won’t go to that much trouble to cook for myself. On the other hand, the fish will keep and we’ve got guests arriving on Thursday. Although I’m sure I’ll have at least a dozen different ideas for the using the fish by then.