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 again...it's delicious). - WinnieAb
ground black pepper
Aleppo pepper flakes
garlic cloves, pressed or minced
salt and pepper
In This Recipe
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.).
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).
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.
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.