Cast Iron

Earl Grey Cured Salmon with Vanilla Mayonnaise

October  4, 2022
0 Ratings
  • Serves 8-10 as hors d'oeuvres
Author Notes

Bergamot and vanilla, it cannot get better than that. This is a really simple cure, easy to pull off and guaranteed to impress the crowd. You can substitute Earl Grey with Lapsang Souchong, –it works equally well. And yes, salmon and vanilla mayonnaise is my take on Heston Blumenthal'’s celebrated dish, although I was never fortunate enough to try it. But, one can always hope… —QueenSashy

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon filet, with skin on
  • 1/2 cup Earl Grey loose leaf tea, crushed into fine powder
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • A couple of drops of lemon juice (if needed)
  • 2-3 tablespoons grapefruit tears/cells
  1. Wash the salmon and pat dry.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the tea, salt, sugar and pepper.
  3. 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 used a cast iron casserole filled with a 5lb flour bag). Cure in the refrigerator for three days.
  4. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and carefully rinse off the cure mixture with cold water. (Even after a careful wash the traces of the cure will remain, and that’'s ok, it will look pretty when you serve. But if you really take an issue with black speckles, use whole tea leaves without crushing them into powder.) Pat the salmon dry.
  5. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds carefully. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, creme fraiche and vanilla seeds. (Use mayonnaise that has a hint of lemon flavor. If not, add 2-3 drops of lemon juice. Make sure you do not overdo it.)
  6. With a sharp knife, slice the salmon crosswise off the skin. Serve each slice with a tiny drop of mayonnaise and a couple of grapefruit tears.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • ChefJune
  • EmilyC
  • healthierkitchen
  • aargersi
  • inpatskitchen
Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.

12 Reviews

ChefJune June 6, 2013
I'm making THIS very soon! Thanks, Sashy.
EmilyC February 19, 2013
This is so pretty and delicious sounding!
carswell February 17, 2013
I've made cured salmon many times - usually with a combination of crushed coriander seeds, a dash of cardamom and black pepper to flavour the salt/sugar cure mix. Using Earl Grey tea sounds like a fantastic idea - I've bookmarked the recipe and I'll be giving it a try.
QueenSashy February 17, 2013
Carswell, thank you for taking the time to comment. If you decide to give it a try, I would love to get your feedback on the recipe.
healthierkitchen February 15, 2013
Mmmmm. Sounds delicious!
QueenSashy February 15, 2013
aargersi February 14, 2013
This looks fantastic! I loved cured salmon. What's a grapefruit tear? Is it crying?
QueenSashy February 14, 2013
The crying grapefruit, ha ha ha!!! “Tears” are the tiny grapefruit cells, the tiniest piece of the grapefruit (which by the way, are not fun to dissect if you are serving a lot of people). I actually do not know what is the proper English word for them, and would greatly appreciate the help in finding the answer.
inpatskitchen February 14, 2013
Love this! (And Heston Blumenthal!)
QueenSashy February 14, 2013
creamtea February 14, 2013
This looks delicious!
QueenSashy February 14, 2013
Thank you creamtea!