I’m always looking for healthy and effortless ways to make food from scratch so I have more control over the ingredients. This cured salmon is a perfect example of easy technique + clean wild happy fish = exquisite silky perfection with no nitrates or questionable preservatives. Curing with salt is also a great way to kill bacteria.
I CAN NOT stress to you enough how simple this was to make!
I found the recipe on epicurious and made it for our annual New Years Eve potluck a few months back. We served the leftovers to our sleepover guests the next morning for brunch too.
Since then, I’ve tweaked the preparation slightly by combining the spices and bulked up zests with the sugar and salt creating an incredibly aromatic mixture that felt more penetrable.
I don’t buy store bought gravlax anymore and keep this in the mix for weekends and gatherings.
Citrus Cured Salmon
Find the best quality fish you can afford and begin curing on Friday morning so you have it for the weekend!
24 hour method – serves 4 – Double the recipe if serving a larger crowd
5 ounces kosher salt (1 cup diamond Crystal or ½ cup Morton)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound skin-on, boneless salmon fillet, preferably wild king
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 Large rimmed baking Sheet
1 Large size foil sheet
Heavy cans and pots
Line a rimmed baking sheet with a large piece of foil.
Combine salt, both sugars, all the spices and zests in a medium bowl and mix together thoroughly with your hands. Spread half of the curing mixture in the center of the foil and place the fish on it skin side down. Cover the salmon with the remaining mixture and make sure to spread it over evenly. Bring the edges of the foil up and over, crimping to enclose completely.
Place another baking sheet on top and weigh it down with several large cans or a heavy pot. Place in the fridge for 24 hours, unwrapping and flipping the fish halfway through the process.
Finally, rinse salmon under cold water to remove the cure and pat dry with paper towels. On a cutting board, place it skin side down and slice thinly on the diagonal with your sharpest longest knife. Wipe down blade between slices if necessary with a wet towel.
*Make sure to use kosher salt and stick with the suggested prep time as there is a method at play here. Different kinds of salts and curing times will yield varied results that might not be so appealing.
*Wrap tightly and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.