Curing fish at home is quick, easy, delicious and impressive. The recipe is simple and highly customizable depending on your tastes and pantry.
Make sure that the fish you choose to use is sushi grade. (Notice: According to the FDA, the consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, meat, poultry, seafood or shellfish may increase your risk of food borne illness.)
We have used wild Coho salmon and wild Alaskan salmon so far- both have worked beautifully. Something to keep in mind: the fattier the piece of fish, the stronger the salmon flavor. Coho is less fatty if you are looking for a milder salmon flavor. As we try this with other types of fish, we will update this post with more fish suggestions. If you have any recommendations, please leave a comment.
- 2.5 lb fillet of salmon (recipe can be adjusted for any sized piece of fish)
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Ground pepper
- Additional flavoring spices (see below)
- Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry.
- Place in a non-reactive baking dish (glass, ceramic).
- Mix together equal parts salt and sugar- enough to cover the fish in a 1/4-1/2 inch layer.
- Add pepper. I added about 1-2 teaspoons to the 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar.
- Add flavoring to the salt and sugar mix (the amounts below are for 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar- these are my preferences, you can easily add more of one spice or another if you really enjoy that flavoring):
Some tasty combos of flavoring spices:
- zest of 1 lemon, fennel seed (crushed) (1 tablespoon), and dill (2 tablespoons)
- fennel seed or caraway (crushed) (1 tablespoon), and dill (2 tablespoons)
- zest of 1 lemon, fresh herbs (dill, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, thyme, marjoram) (about a 1/4 cup- does not need to be chopped)
- five spice powder (2-3 tablespoons)
- zest of 1 lime, grated fresh ginger (1-2 teaspoons), cilantro or ground coriander.
- Spread the mixture over the top and sides of the fish.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for no less than 24 hours. Some suggest to weigh down the salmon- I have never done this and do not find it necessary. Also, some recipes call for waiting 3 days before eating, we typically wait 2 days. The fish will get firmer the longer it sits, we happen to prefer the firmness after 2 days, especially on leaner types of fish like Coho.
- Use the sharpest and thinnest blade knife you have. Slice very thin pieces and put the knife blade at angle so that it is almost parallel to the counter- you will get larger slices this way.
- Slice and serve on any number things- bagels with cream cheese, canapes, pizza, salad, eggs, potato salad, sandwiches, etc.