Homemade cured salmon with toasted coriander, black pepper, and lemon.
The trick to curing salmon at home is knowing when it is ready. The amount of time a piece of fish needs to cure depends on the size and thickness. For example, a fish 1/2 inch or less thick will take anywhere between 8-12 hours to cure. But a thicker piece, 1 inch or more, can take 3-4 days.
So how do you tell if your fish is ready? By touching it. Press in the center of your fillet. If the meat feels squishy, it is not ready. If it feels hard, you may have cured it too long. If it feels firm, then it is just right.
The recipe below is for a small thin portion of salmon. To cure a larger side, there are a few things that will need to be changed. You will need to increase the amount of cure you use, extend the curing time, and flip the fish over every 12 hours. Flipping the fish redistributes the cure so that one side isn’t getting cured more than the other.
This recipe can also be switched up with different flavorings. Dill and juniper would be a nice addition. Or how about a little gin or beet juice? Use whatever flavorings suit your taste.
Coriander and Black Pepper Cured Salmon
- 1 pound salmon deboned skin off
- 2 ounces sugar 63 grams
- 3 ounces brown sugar 90 grams
- 1/3 cup salt 88 grams
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp black peppercorn
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- Place the coriander and peppercorns in a small skillet and toast over medium-high heat until fragrant. Grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Mix with sugars, salt, and zest.
- Lay out enough plastic wrap to cover the salmon. Place half the salt mixture on the wrap. Place the salmon on top of the mixture and coat with the remaining salt mix. Wrap the salmon tightly, make sure the salmon is completely coated. Place the salmon in a container to catch any liquid that might escape. Weigh down the salmon and refrigerate for 12 hours and up to 2 days. Salmon should be firm but not hard. Rinse the salmon and pat dry. Slice thinly to serve. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.