Recipes By Rich: Chai Tea Salmon January 15 2015


Cured or Smoked Salmon has always been a favorite in my family, especially around the Holidays or special occasions where there tends to be a beautiful platter of appetizers, cold meats and cheeses. It is almost a certainty that when I see a Salmon and Bagel plate on a brunch or breakfast menu, that is what I am going for.

You will need:
2 sheet pans - equal sized cookie sheets work best
Aluminum Foil
Plastic Wrap
Weights such as 3-4 large cans of Tomatoes or a Brick
A very sharp and thin slicing knife

This Chai Cured Salmon is incredibly simple to make, has a wonderful hint of spice from the Chai and is an elegant and versatile addition to breakfasts, brunches, lunches, appetizers and more. Get a nice fatty piece with the skin still on from your local fishmonger and tell them you'll be curing it. They will pick out a nice piece for you.

1.5 to 2 lb Fresh Salmon Fillet (I used Atlantic Salmon for this recipe)
1 cup Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Turbinado Sugar
3/4 cup Too Soul Tea Original Chai

Rinse the Fillet and pat completely dry on both sides. Overlap a cookie sheet with Aluminum Foil. Make sure you have enough to completely fold and seal the Salmon as a package when complete. Then, line the foil with Plastic Wrap.

Mix the Salt, Sugar and Chai Tea well in a bowl and then spread a medium thick layer on the Plastic Wrap and place the Salmon skin side down on the Salt cure mixture. Take the remaining mixture and pack tightly around the top side of the Salmon.

Fold the Plastic Wrap tightly around the Salmon to create a package and then do the same with the Aluminum Foil. Place the second cookie sheet on top of the Salmon and place flat on a shelf in the refrigerator. Weight the top down with a brick or several cans of tomatoes or something similarly heavy.

Cure the Salmon in the refrigerator for 48 to 72 hours.

Remove Foil and Plastic Wrap and rinse well under cool water in the sink. Gently pat completely dry. The Salmon will have developed a slightly rubbery top crust. This is easily removed with a few parallel slices with your sharp knife.

Slice the Salmon in very thin strips keeping your knife at only a very slight angle to the fish. Serve immediately.

Suggested accompaniments:
Rye bread with Creme Fraiche, Dill and a squeeze of Lemon
Bagels, Cream Cheese, Thinly Sliced Red Onion and Bagel
Scrambled Eggs and Buckwheat Pancakes
Quinoa with Lemon Zest
Pasta with Capers and Cream Sauce

Recipe conceived and happily tested by Too Soul's In-House Chef, Richard Soucie