written by Nick George, Cheesemonger
Charcuterie is an art as much as it is a science. Preserving meat and fish has a long history and it used to be a necessary for survival. Today, it is no longer a necessity, but charcuterie is more popular than ever.
Curing salmon can seem like an undertaking but it is actually quite easy. A few simple ingredients – salt, sugar, and fresh herbs – creates beautiful lox within a few days. While this recipe may seem like it calls for a lot of salt, not all of the salt is absorbed into the flesh. There must be enough salt to fully cover – but not burry – the salmon because salt expels the water from the salmon.
This is my favorite lox recipe because it is very versatile. I encourage you to add different herbs and spices in varying amounts depending on your taste.
1.5 lbs salmon
1 cup coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup whole juniper
1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
Chop dill and juniper berries
Combine salt through the dill in a mixing bowl.
Spread half of the salt mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap.
Place salmon skin side down on top of the salt mixture. Spread the rest of the salt mixture on top of the salmon. It should completely cover the salmon – if not, add more salt.
Wrap the salmon with the plastic wrap. Place the salmon in a container that will hold excess liquid, such as a Tupperware container.
Place a heavy object on top of the salmon, such as a heavy jar or small pot. Place the salmon in the fridge for three days.
After 3 days, take salmon out of the plastic wrap and wash the mixture off the salmon with cool water.
To serve, slice thin against the grain (optional: top with fresh chopped dill).