Jasmine Tea Cured Salmon

Jasmine Cured Salmon. Photo by Julian Landa

I’ve done many variations on this salmon over the years, but this was the first version that was served at Tea Tray in the Sky in Cambridge, MA more than 20 years ago.  Special thanks to Mark Yedvabny who worked on our first version.  When available, use salmon with the skin on which makes it easier both to cure and to serve.  The jasmine tea perfumes the fish beautifully, but you can take this recipe in many directions by varying the tea and aromatics.  Curing two sides of salmon may seem excessive, but this will allow you to serve it as hors d’oeuvres or canapés for your holiday gathering, have some left to serve with bagels at brunch the next day, and bring platters with you to some of your favorite friends and family.  If you prefer a smaller quantity, a single side can be cured, or even a partial side.

Jasmine Tea Cured Salmon
Print Recipe
This simple recipe could be come a holiday staple for you.
Servings Prep Time
2 sides 5 minutes
Passive Time
36 - 48 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 sides 5 minutes
Passive Time
36 - 48 hours
Jasmine Tea Cured Salmon
Print Recipe
This simple recipe could be come a holiday staple for you.
Servings Prep Time
2 sides 5 minutes
Passive Time
36 - 48 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 sides 5 minutes
Passive Time
36 - 48 hours
Ingredients
Servings: sides
Instructions
  1. Check salmon for stray bones, rinse and pat dry.
  2. Blend brown sugar with kosher salt and put aside
  3. Spread a large piece of plastic wrap on table. Lay sides of salmon out on the plastic wrap. Spread garlic evenly over both front and back of both filets of salmon. If the salmon still has it’s skin on it, then spread the garlic on the inside, skinless sides only.
  4. Liberally grind black pepper and squeeze the lemon over each side of both filets
  5. Take 1/4 of the salt and sugar mixture and spread it out on the plastic wrap to be roughly the size and shape of the salmon sides.
  6. Place one side on the sugar/salt mixture, skin side down. On the inside of the salmon that should now be facing up, heavily sprinkle half the chopped herbs and half of the tea.
  7. Spread half of the salt/sugar mixture over the tea. Sprinkle the remaining tea and herbs over salt.
  8. Place the second side of salmon over the herbs and salt, sandwiching it in, skin side out and press together gently but firmly.Spread the remaining 1/4 of the salt/sugar mixture over the back of the top filet.
  9. Bring plastic wrap up around salmon to wrap it very well. Place in a hotel pan. Place a second hotel pan into the first pan so that it presses down on the fish. Place weights in the second pan. Refrigerate.
  10. Turn fish roughly every 12 hours and check for doneness. You are looking for it to become firmer and take on a translucent look. Depending on the thickness of the filets it should take somewhere between 24 and 48 hours to cure.
  11. Using a serrated slicer, slice thin slices on the diagonal. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

One very popular variation on this recipe is to replace the Jasmine Tea with Lapsang Souchong and substitute juice of 1/2 orange for the lemon juice.  Add 1 teaspoon of orange zest when adding the garlic and pepper.

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