Before wild salmon season draws to a close, and the only option left in the stores is farmed salmon, not a real option in my book, you may consider curing your own salmon.
Cured salmon is a lovely way to hold onto the taste and health benefits of wild salmon. Not a very hard process, curing salmon does not take many ingredients but does monopolize a bit of room in the refrigerator for 1 day.
Worth every inch of shelf space, cured salmon is delicious, healthy and a fairly miraculous process. Sugar, salt, herbs and a few spices draw out moisture from the delicate fish, leaving behind a sturdy and beautifully flavored delight. Enjoy it in salads, on a bagel, and even on its own.
- Prep Time
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup kosher salt
- 1 side (about 3 pounds) wild salmon, boned, but skin-on
- Several, or all of these: a handful of dill sprigs, fennel fronds, parsley leaves, tarragon leaves or thyme sprigs
- 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns, crushed with a mallet or overturned pan
- 3 tablespoons vodka
1. In a small bowl, mix sugar and salt together and set aside.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Place salmon, flesh side up, on a grate on the prepared pan. Scatter herbs over the top. Sprinkle with peppercorns and vodka.
4. Layer salt and sugar mix, thickly, over the top of the fish.
5. Refrigerate the entire set-up in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
6. Drain the liquid on the pan. Scrape off sugar mixture and herbs. Rinse the fish and pat dry.
7. The fish is now ready to be thinly sliced on a bias, leaving the skin behind, and layered on a gorgeous sandwich, in a salad, or on cracker with a shmear.
8. To store cured salmon long-term, tightly wrap in foil and freeze for up to 3 months.