We were recently able to buy 90 lbs of wild Alaskan sockeye salmon. I have these gorgeous 2 lb filets and I really wanted to learn how to cure them. I wasn’t able to find fresh dill at the store so I omitted it from my first experiment with this recipe and it still turned out quite good. Once I washed the brine off and tried it with some kefir cheese (like cream cheese) it tasted just right so I guess I wasn’t that far off – great first try! I can’t believe how much money this saves us – and we get to enjoy lox again which we never buy here in Austin!
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.
Place a large piece of plastic wrap in 10-inch (or other 2-quart) baking dish with enough extending over the sides of the dish to bring up and wrap over the salmon.
Cut a 4-foot piece of cheesecloth. Fold it into quarters to make a piece about 2 square feet. Lay the cheesecloth on a work surface.
Pat the salmon fillet dry with paper towels (so the salt mixture adheres to it). Rub about 1/3rd of the salt mixture over the skin side of the fillet. Lay fillet in the center of the cheesecloth. Rub the remaining salt mixture on the top and around the sides of the fillet. Cover with the dill fronds. Wrap the cheesecloth over the fillet to cover the fish. Place it, skin side down, in the prepared dish. Bring the sides of the plastic wrap up to cover the fish.
Place a smaller pyrex dish on top of the fish. Weigh it down with cans. Refrigerate 24 hours.
Remove fish from refrigerator. Flip over the fish. Replace pyrex dish with cans. Refrigerate another 24 hours.
Remove from refrigerator. Unwrap the salmon and rinse it thoroughly under cold running water. Pat it dry with paper towels. Use a razor-sharp knife (a boning knife is good for this) to thinly slice the salmon. I sectioned it into three pieces and froze two after washing for slicing later. In the fridge it will last about a week.
Photo credit: tvol, on flickr