Monday, April 14, 2014

“Quick Cured” Salmon – 3 Minutes? But I Want it Now!

Whenever I hear people criticizing millennials for being self-absorbed, having short attentions spans, and for expecting to get what they want, exactly when they want it, I think to myself, “Hey, that sounds like my generation!” Well, if that’s the case, then they’re (and we’re) going to love this quick-cured salmon technique.

While the process is incredibly simple, the potential variations are endless. Whenever I show a new technique, I usually keep things simple, as to not distract people, but whether you’re talking about the brine, or post-cure seasonings, this is something that begs for adaptation.

Smoked salt, chipotle, or smoked paprika could be used before or after the cure to make things a little loxier, and don’t even get me started on the herbs. After the 3-minute cure, you can sprinkle your slices with dill, tarragon, chervil, and/or thyme, before the refrigeration stage. Speaking of impatient millennials; this is technically ready to eat after the three minute dunk, but you’ll enjoy this much more if you thoroughly chill it first.

Besides the flavorings, you can also play around with how thin/thick you slice the salmon, as well as how long you brine it. For me, if I slice the fish about 1/4-inch thick, three minutes is just about the perfect cure time for my desired texture and saltiness. However, you should experiment. Longer curing times, or thinner slices will result in a firmer, saltier product.

Of course, all that experimenting is going to make you hungry, and you’ll still need to decide how you’re going to serve it. I’ve suggested three delicious directions herein, but I’m fully confident you’ll come up with some stellar spin-offs as well. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

FOOD SAFETY NOTE: Much like rare meat, oysters, and raw eggs, if you’re concerned about the safety of eating homemade, cured salmon, you should do some research, and decide for yourself if it’s worth the risk. This technique works great with frozen salmon, which apparently kills potential parasites, so that’s one option. Anecdotally, I can tell you I’ve done this, and similar procedures, countless dozens of times with fresh salmon ("sushi grade" from a reputable, local purveyor), and have lived to tell the tale. Good luck.


Brine for to cure about 1 pound of salmon:
2 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 cup Kosher salt – I used Diamond Crystal brand
1/3 cup sugar

26 comments:

blogagog said...

I'm so glad the Chef used fresh water. Unfresh or dirty water just doesn't look as good.

will dukeshire said...

Hey Chef John, Im sure this is a really good dish....however...like one of my fav comedians the late John Pinette said....mmmm raw fish, for 20 bucks you put that on the grill for me! LOL may he rip. would luv to cedar plank that beautiful piece of salmon! Thanks for the teqnique!

kpnitrl said...

Would you call this sushi? Or could this be called sushi? If not what's the difference?

kpnitrl said...

Can I use frozen Salmon I foodsaved from last year?

Jason Smith said...


CJ,

Pumpernickel flat bread:

made or bought!

If made.... Please post:)

Chef John said...

The flatbreads were from a store!

Grams Pam said...

Oh, heck ... I just completely tossed out the idea of an Easter ham!

Sending this link to those I invited for Easter dinner, who have adult kids that need to be at "the other parents" since we had them for Christmas ... and demanding that everyone come up with their own variation.

I'm already calling "dibs" on mine having toasted pine nuts with ... uhm, something else.

Franken Stein said...

Must be nice to live where authentic salmon is available in the market. All we get here in the midwest is mislabelled and fraudulent fish marketed as salmon :(

and the color is never as beautiful as that! oh man, that looks sooo good!

Pristley said...

I love to butcher my own salmon. As I live in the rocky mountain. I use frozen wild salmon. In addition to it, I'm a student on a budget. Can I use thawed frozen salmon?

Chef John said...

Yes, frozen salmon will work. Please read post!

Silly Ninja said...

Hey CJ, rookie question for you. How does this "quick cure" differ from a standard cure in terms of process and outcome? Is there any benefit to "long curing" (if that's even a thing)? :)

Either way, thanks for teaching us another insanely delicious way to enjoy salmon.

Chef John said...

Too long an answer for the comment section, but short answer it's the same basic process, but the longer traditional cured salmons are famous for their amazing taste and texture, so impossible to compare. You have to try both.

Grams Pam said...

Franken Stien: ease up, buddy. I also live in the Midwest, but have some strong doubts that you ONLY have access to "mislabeled and fraudulent" salmon. if you know what "authentic" salmon looks, feels and smells like ... weather fresh or frozen, you shouldn't be "taken in" as you seem to feel you've been. I beg you to get to know your local fish-monger (butcher, farmer, etc) and establish a trusting relationship with them. // I'm doing this salmon dish for Easter Dinner and everyone of us has pledged to bring their own "take" on it ... and we use 4 different cities (far apart!) to get our fish from.

Darcy Thomas said...

Mary Whitehouse back with HIS distasteful photo. Ugh.

jaagleam said...

Hey Chef John,
Quick question, curing the salmon this way, did that make it lox?

jaagleam said...

Hey Chef John,
Quick question. Curing the salmon this way, does this make it lox?

Chef John said...

lox is smoked salmon, so this doesn't make lox!

Mulligan said...

Chef John! Did you steal the title idea from the Simpsons?

Moe says: You could. flash fry a buffalo in 40 seconds.
Homer: 40 seconds?! But I want it now!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9EBhaULToU

cyberbot said...

tried a bit of liquid smoke just to see what happens

Vlad Felder said...

Chef John. Towards the end of the video you had salmon laying in a green sauce on a white plate with a green salad. What is the name of the green sauce? Do you have a video how to make it?

Chef John said...

That's a green goddess dressing! No, I haven't done a video for it yet.

Nico-Nico said...

Tried this and it was absolutely awesome! Served it with soy sauce and ginger and my 4 year old daughter loved it.

But I'm thinking...can you cure cod like this too? I mean, it's a different kind of fish, but is it possible?

Thank you so much for your fantastic videos!

Chef John said...

Not sure, but I think it works best with oily fish like salmon.

Becky Jones said...

Chef John! I love this technique! I tried it with frozen, thawed salmon and it was wonderful! I love the texture and flavor. I ate the salmon with fresh avocado and soy sauce - yum! I love your videos - keep 'em coming! Thank you!

Mark Leggett said...

Absolutely great!
I made this and served it on gluten free bagel chips (not normally edible to all intensive purposes) spread with crème fraesh and a good grind of black pepper. What a hit. I'm going to use some Italian herb mix in the cure next time to see what that does.
Many Thanks!!

BZ in BA said...

Hi Chef John. Can I do this with red (Ahi) tuna? I tried cured tuna in Italy, and it was GREAT.