Cast Iron

Lapsang Souchong Cured King Salmon with Ginger Lime Cream Cheese

June 15, 2013
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 12 as hors d'oeuvres
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:

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: QueenSashy is a scientist, blogger, and Food52 contest regular.
WHAT: Salmon cured with a smoky black tea and served with zippy lime-ginger cream (i.e. your best brunch ever).
HOW: Pack a tea-sugar-salt mixture onto a salmon fillet, then let sit in the fridge to cure. After a few days, rinse off the cure and serve slices of it on toast with a ginger-lime cream cheese.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Complexly smoky from the tea and five spice, a bit salty, a bit spicy, and buttery in texture, this salmon is incredibly simple to put together (the hardest part being waiting—but the good news is, we'd recommend a 3-day, rather than 5-day, cure). And the bright ginger-lime cream cheese was a perfect and refreshing complement—especially on a bagel. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the Salmon
  • 1 1/2 pounds king salmon filet, previously frozen per FDA standards
  • 1/2 cup Lapsang Souchong loose leaf tea, crushed into fine powder (or contents of about 15 tea bags)
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • For the Cream Cheese
  • 6 to 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • Zest of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  1. Remove the pinbones and scales from the thawed salmon. Leave the skin on. Rinse the salmon and pat dry.
  2. 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 5-pound flour bag). Cure in the refrigerator for three to five days.
  3. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and carefully rinse off the cure mixture with cold water. Pat the salmon dry.
  4. 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.
  5. With a sharp knife, slice the salmon crosswise off the skin. Serve with fresh bread, cream cheese, and some Sriracha sauce on the side.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • anka
  • Bevi
  • drbabs
  • aargersi
  • Annie stader
    Annie stader
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.

11 Reviews

anka July 18, 2016
Congratulations on being a finalist!
QueenSashy July 18, 2016
Thank you!
Bevi July 18, 2016
This sounds like it's what I make the next time I am asked to bring an appetizer to a party!
QueenSashy July 18, 2016
Hey we all love no work dishes :) Btw, it works quite nicely with Earl Grey too. So you can make a duet...
drbabs July 18, 2016
Yum! Congratulations on being a finalist! Sounds great!
QueenSashy July 18, 2016
Thank you!
aargersi July 18, 2016
Congratulations! I had a feeling about this one, and I will be making it soon!!!
QueenSashy July 18, 2016
Wow - had no idea. Thank you. And I look forward to your impressions...
Annie S. July 16, 2016
I tested it for the contest and I loved it! The salmon is a standout and was so easy. The cream cheese was just lovely and sophisticated with ginger and lime. I had freshly made bialys and this went perfectly. Thanks for this just yummy recipe!
QueenSashy July 16, 2016
Annie, thanks so much for testing and for letting me know the outcome!
aargersi June 21, 2016
Rocking the smoky tea! This sounds amazing, as per usual with your recipes