This hot pink salmon was from one such cookbook that immediately caught my eye. I thought of making it in time for mother’s day brunch, but then my mom and I ended up going out for a day in Oakland instead. Full disclosure: I’d never cured anything in my entire life and was feeling a little bit nervous about it. You basically slather the raw slab of salmon with toppings and a little vodka, and somehow it magically becomes “cooked” and ready to slice up and eat.
But the idea of hot pink beet salmon was too enticing to pass up, so I made it anyways, and also posted it up on our company blog here!
The recipe calls for horseradish, and as soon as I popped open the can, my eyes were watering. However, don’t let this scare you, because after 5 days of sitting in the fridge, the strength of it dies down a little bit and you’re left with a slightly spicy-sweet cured fish. I don’t normally like anything that calls for copious amounts of horseradish, but this recipe is now definitely an exception.
Things I learned from curing salmon:
- You really have to glob on the toppings. And that’s ok.
- You’ll scrape it off at the end anyways, but it’s totally normal to have a centimeter thick topping over your salmon.
- It will leak.
- No matter how many layers of cheesecloth and plastic wrap you use to cover up the salmon for the days it needs to cure, the juice still finds its way out and leaks.
- You have to eat it pretty soon.
- Long story short- since I was planning on posting this blog on the company website, I had to take pictures with the book in it, and forgot and left the book at work. So I waited a week after it was fully cured to take pictures the next weekend. By that time it smelled pretty fishy and so I didn’t get to eat it. I recommend making this in advance for a party with multiple people you can share it with, and finish it up quickly after it’s cured.
- It might take a while in the fridge, but overall, it’s not too much work.
- I think the wrapping process is what actually took me the longest in prepping the salmon. Mostly, you just combine the ingredients, slather them over the salmon, cover it all up, and let it sit for a while, turning it over occasionally. Pretty easy!
From Salmon by Diane Morgan (Chronicle Books, 2016)