An easy brine recipe for smoked fish is made by mixing together 1 gallon of water, 1 1/3 cups of canning salt and 2/3 cup of brown sugar. The fish is then cut into halves and soaked in the brine for around 12 hours in the refrigerator.
Another brine recipe option uses 1/2 gallon of water, 1 cup of Kosher salt, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of allspice and 1 teaspoon of ground pepper. Soak the fish in the brine for two hours. If the fish fillets have skin on them, brine them for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the fish from the brine and place them on a rack in front of a fan to dry them. This causes a glaze or film called a pellicle to form on the meat which increases the flavor of the fish when it is smoked.
A slightly different brine is created using soy sauce, which adds a different flavor to the fish when it is smoked. Combine 8 cups of water, 2 cups of soy sauce, 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups of sea salt, 1 1/12 tablespoons of granulated garlic and 1 tablespoon of ginger in a large bowl. Soak the fish in the brine for eight hours.