Vieux Carre Cured Copper River Salmon - the King of Lox

Home-cured lox are a silken, luxurious tasty treat. They're much easier to make than most people realize. Make them with the best quality, sustainable salmon you can find. I only buy wild Alaskan salmon, and I adore the Copper River salmon. Since my trip to Cordova, it's had a very special place in my heart. A recent gift of Copper River's finest, first-of-the-season King salmon was the perfect opportunity to make some home-cured lox. I grilled about 2/3 of the shipment using a spice rub and cedar papers (see BBQ Bonanza Adam Perry Lang' BBQ 25). The leftover pieces we tossed with farfalle, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes.

I find the licorice scent of fennel and absinthe to be perfect foils for the rich salmon.

 

LDG Home-cured Absinthe Lox

From my original recipe at Suite101: Home-cured Salmon: Lox, Gravlax, Nova, Gaspe or Balik - It's Easy and Delicious.

Grind the following in a spice grinder:

  • 1 TBSP white peppercorns
  • ~ 1 TBSP green peppercorns
  • ~ 1 TBSP cubeb peppercorns (these are particularly aromatic with a menthol-like aroma)
  • 1 TBSP fennel seeds
  • 1 TBSP caraway seeds
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2/3 C smoked kosher salt (I used Chef Robert Clark's smoked sea salt)
  • 1/3 C sugar (up to 1/2 C this absinthe is not overly sweet so I added more)

Place salmon filet (about 1 lb) in large zip bag. Pat spice rub over salmon filet, then drizzle on:

  • 1/3 C Vieux Carré absinthe

Wrap in plastic, place in zip top bag. Turn, massage a little to ensure even coating of the spice rub. Place it in a shallow bowl or dish, weight with some canned goods or something heavy. I like to flatten it under a plate, then weight the plate evenly and gently encourages the curing process. At 12 hour intervals you should drain liquid from the bag. (The curing process removes moisture from the fish, infusing the fish with the spice-scented absinthe.) 48 hours are recommended. Salmon will be firm to the touch when done. Slice thinly on an angle.