Smoked Salmon: The Dry Cure

11:45 am on 3 January 2011


  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp crushed white pepper corns
  • 1 tsp crushed allspice
  • 1 tsp crushed bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 675gm salmon fillet ( in one piece with skin on and pinbones removed)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs vodka


Mix all the dry cure ingredients together. Choose a dish or pan in which the salmon will fit snuggly, it will release copious liquid and form a brine that should remain in contact with the fish. Spread half of the dry cure in an even layer the width and length of the salmon in your container, then place salmon skin side down on the cure. Sprinkle the vodka over the fillet, then coat the fish with the rest of the dry cure, coating the thick parts heavily with the mixture and the tapered belly and tail with less.

Cover the salmon with plastic wrap, set another pan on top, and place about 4 kgs of weight on it to help extract the moisture. Refrigerate for 36 hours, or until the thickest part of the salmon feels dense and stiff to the touch.

Remove the salmon from the cure and rinse thoroughly under cool water. Pat dry. Place on a rack set over a tray, and refrigerate, uncovered for 4 to 24 hours.

Cold-smoke the salmon at 12°C for about 6 hours, or to taste.

Store the salmon wrapped in butcher's paper in the fridge. It will keep for up to 3 weeks (justchange the paper if it becomes too moist).

From Summer Noelle

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