Dorothy Hernandez's smoked fish pate recipe

- Michigan is home to some iconic foods that make us all nostalgic for a taste of home.

Fascinating and storied histories accompany some of these mouthwatering foods like coney dogs, Detroit-style square pizza, smoked fish and more. Hour Detroit delves into Michigan's most iconic dishes in its "Ode to Michigan Foods" in the magazine's August issue.

Dorothy Hernandez, Hour Detroit managing editor, joins us on The Nine to tell us more about the "Ode to Michigan Foods," and dive into the specifics of one of those special foods -- the whitefish.

She also shared with us a recipe for smoked fish pate, which you can find below. 

Recipe by Jake Williams and Dorothy Hernandez

3 cups water
½ cup plus 2½ tablespoons salt
2½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 pound whitefish (you can also use lake trout, which has more oil and more flavor)
8 ounces cream cheese
½ tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon soy sauce


Combine the salt, sugar, and water in a large plastic container and submerge the fish. Place in refrigerator and brine 4 to 6 hours. Remove the fish from the brine and place on a raised rack to dry in the refrigerator uncovered (this is key because the drying will create a pellicle - coating - that will allow the fish to absorb more of the smoke) until completely dry, about 8 hours.

Smoke the fish for about 18-22 minutes over applewood and lump charcoal (you can use a barbecue grill if you don’t have a pit-barrel smoker or chamber), until the fish is opaque. When it’s cool, break up into large chunks.

In a mixer, combine the fish, cream cheese, black pepper, lemon zest, and soy sauce until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories