Thanks go to Roland Passot, a masterful French chef at the helm of exquisite La Folie on Russian Hill in San Francisco, CA. His original “Citrus Cured Salmon” is plated with roasted beets, fried beet and horseradish strings, horseradish cream, and balsamic dressing. I’ve simplified his recipe and focused solely on the cured salmon, something very satisfying to do at home, if you can get great quality fish (…thank you, Montana Fish Co!)
My proportions are in grams, as I was taught by a Frenchman and adopted his ways, learning to use a scale. Don’t let it scare you off though, the only proportions that really matter are the salt and sugar — just use a heaping cup of each and you’ll have more cure than required, which is better than too little.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips:
- Try gin instead of vodka, or leave out the alcohol entirely.
- I like to weight the fillet while it rests in the refrigerator — a couple pounds of butter in packages or whatever you have in there will work. Just looking for some gentle pressure.
- If you have fresh dill, lay sprigs over the fillet, after the alcohol, and before you pack on the brine cure.
Once your salmon has been cured, wrap in fresh parchment paper and plastic wrap or bag and store in refrigerator. It last for awhile, no problem with a week or even two.
- 1 beautiful salmon fillet, 6-8 inches long (scaled and with pin bones removed)
- 200g kosher salt
- 200g sugar
- 25g juniper berries
- 25g black peppercorns
- 25g coriander seeds
- zest of 2 limes
- zest of 1 lemon
- 50ml Absolut Citron vodka
- Blend the spices in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until fine, then mix with the salt and sugar. Toss in the lime and lemon zest and mix together - this is your “cure”.
- Place a piece of parchment paper in an 8x12 inch glass or ceramic pan, leaving enough to overhang and fold over the salmon, once it gets in there. Sprinkle a handful of the cure on the parchment. Score the skin side of the salmon with a sharp knife, 5 diagonal cuts, running the length of the filet, about 5mm deep, and place the salmon, skin side down, in the pan. Pour the vodka over the fillet and pack the cure around the fillet, making sure to get some along the sides of the fish. Fold the parchment over the fillet, and refrigerate for 24 - 48 hours.
- After curing, rinse the fillet under cold water to remove cure, pat dry with paper towels and allow to air dry under refrigeration before covering with fresh parchment for storage. At serving time, trim away skin and slice salmon very thinly.