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Pastrami-Style Cured Atlantic Salmon Recipe

06/17/2014 04:58PM ● By Ryan Frisch

Enjoy this delicious recipe from NECI Chef David Miles.


  • 1 side Atlantic Salmon, about 3 lbs, pin bones and skin removed
  • 8 oz coarse Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 3 oz sugar or maple sugar
  • 2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp toasted and cracked coriander seed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 shallots minced, or 6 scallions, white part only, minced
  • 2 oz maple syrup
  • 2 oz molasses
  • ½ tsp piment d’espelette or cayenne
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp toasted and ground coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper


Combine salt, sugar, cracked black pepper, and coriander seed in a bowl.

Place salmon fillet on a sheet pan or large baking pan and start to cure, using about half of the salt mixture. Let the mixture start to absorb on one side before turning. Apply the mixture more thickly in the thick and/or fatty parts of the fillet.

Combine cilantro, parsley, shallots or scallion whites, mix well and press onto both sides of the salmon, then apply the remainder of the salt mixture. Place the salmon fillet on a rack and refrigerate for 18 – 24 hours.

Rinse the salmon and let drip dry and then dry uncovered overnight (an hour or so in front of a fan before refrigerating will help speed this process). The surface of the fish should look shiny, but feel tacky, almost dry to the touch. (At this point the salmon can be cold smoked at 85 degreees or less for an hour as an option.)

Heat the syrup, molasses, pemint d’espelette or cayenne to a simmer and let cool to a warm room temperature. Paint the fillet on both sides with the mixture and then crust with a combination of the smoked paprika, ground coriander, and black pepper.

Let the salmon set up overnight under refrigeration. Slice thinly and serve with traditional smoked salmon garnishes (capers, minced or shaved red onion, chopped hard cooked eggs) on lightly buttered pumpernickel or rye bread rounds, or on a bagel or bialy with herbed cream cheese, or cut into strips and stirred into scrambled eggs just before serving.