Cast Iron

Ouzo CuredĀ Salmon

January 29, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

Inspired by gravlax, this dish uses ouzo to provide a slightly anise-y touch to the salmon. This is a delicious addition to a buffet table or your bagel a brunch. Use impeccably fresh salmon for this. Aleppo pepper is worth seeking out for its slightly sweet flavor - it's not too hot and spicy. If you can't find it, just leave it out. The carrot tzatziki is a great accompaniment. It's an authentic Greek sauce, but one we don't see often. - Savorykitchen —Savorykitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe was my introduction to home cured salmon... I didn't know it was so simple to make! I substituted Pernod for the ouzo and left out the Aleppo pepper flakes, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The result is wonderful -- a fresh and clean tasting version of gravlax that is nicely permeated with the salt, as well the anise and citrus flavors. Thin slices are perfect on a toasted whole wheat bagel with a smear of cream cheese and juicy ripe tomato, but I'll be sure to try it with the carrot tzatziki when I make it again (and I most certainly will make it's delicious). - WinnieAb
—The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Ouzo-Cured Salmon
  • 1 pound salmon
  • 3 tablespoons ouzo
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 orange's zest
  • 1 lemon's zest
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
  • Carrot Tzatziki
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  1. Ouzo-Cured Salmon
  2. Put the salmon, skin-size down, on a large sheet of plastic wrap in a container large enough hold the salmon in one flat layer (The salmon will exude more liquid - make sure the dish you're using has sides high enough to contain any drips: rimmed baking sheet, roasting pan, large Tupperware container, etc.).
  3. Drizzle the salmon with the ouzo. Mix together the remaining ingredients and rub on the flesh. Wrap the plastic around the fillet tightly, trying to keep the liquid inside the plastic. Cover the fish with a cookie sheet, plate or some other flat item (you want to weight the fillet down, so make sure it's entirely covered. Weight down the sheet with a heavy item (a can, bag of flour, cast iron skillet, etc.) . Place the salmon in the refrigerator for one to three days (the flavor gets stronger the longer it cures).
  4. Unwrap the salmon and pat it dry. Using a very sharp knife, slice very thin slices across the fillet. Garnish with citrus (I used kumquats and some dill fronds). Serve with carrot tzatziki.
  1. Carrot Tzatziki
  2. Mix all the ingredients together. Adjust salt to taste. If you need more tartness, add a little more lemon. As the tzatziki sits, the garlic flavor will become more pronounced. For best results, make this the day you intend to serve it.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • MrsWheelbarrow
  • lastnightsdinner
  • Savorykitchen

3 Reviews

MrsWheelbarrow May 11, 2010
I love the idea of using Ouzo in the cure. Definitely making this soon. I'm a big fan of cured salmon for breakfast and this looks like a great way to start the day.
lastnightsdinner January 30, 2010
This sounds fabulous. And I love tzatziki, so I will have to try this spin on it!
Savorykitchen January 30, 2010
Thank you so - even in Greece they don't have cucumbers year-round, so carrots or beets are an authentic substitute. (My maiden name is super-long and ends in "-opoulos" so I know what I'm talking about. :-)