Author Notes: The fish royalty meets the tea royalty in a smoky, peppery cure. I co-designed the cream cheese to go with it with several great Food52 minds, and you can read all about it here, http://food52.com/hotline/20550-creme-fraiche-to-accompany-lapsang-souchong-cured-king-salmon - QueenSashy
Serves 12 as hors d'oeuvres
For the Salmon
- 1 1/2 pound king salmon filet
- 1/2 cup Lapsang Souchong loose leaf tea, crushed into fine powder (or content of about 15 tea bags)
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup Turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
For the Cream Cheese
- 6-8 ounces cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- Zest of one lime
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- Remove the pinbones and scales from the salmon. Leave the skin on. Wash the salmon and pat dry.
- In a small bowl, mix the tea, salt, sugar and spices. Line a large, non-reactive dish with plastic wrap. Pour one third of the cure mixture on the bottom of the dish. Lay the salmon skin-side down, and coat evenly with the remaining cure mixture. Fold the edges of the plastic wrap and wrap the salmon tightly. Weight the salmon down with something heavy (I use a cast iron casserole filled with a 5lb flour bag). Cure in the refrigerator for three to five days.
- Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and carefully rinse off the cure mixture with cold water. Pat the salmon dry.
- Remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator to soften at room temperature. With a fork, mix the cream cheese well until smooth and fluffy. Add the sour cream one-tablespoon at time and keep on mixing. Add the lime zest and ginger and mix well until fully incorporated.
- With a sharp knife, slice the salmon crosswise off the skin. Serve with fresh bread, cream cheese and some Sriracha sauce on the side.