Mezcal-Cured Salmon with Sorrel Salad

Instead of smoking salmon, Alex Stupak ingeniously adds smokiness with chipotles and mezcal (a tequila-like spirit), then serves the silky salmon with a crisp sorrel salad drizzled with a lime and cream cheese dressing. “Either a bagel or a tortilla would be suitable with this dish,” he says.

Slideshow: Sensational Salmon Recipes

Recipe from Food & Wine America's Greatest New Cooks
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8 first-course servings
  • Time(Other): plus 9 hr curing

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  • One 12-ounce skinless salmon fillet
  • 1/2 cup mezcal
  • 3 dried chipotle chiles—stemmed, seeded and torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces small sorrel leaves (see Note)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

How to make this recipe

  1. prepare the salmon

    Set the salmon fillet in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Brush the fish all over with 1/4 cup of the mezcal, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  2. prepare the salmon

    In a spice grinder, combine the dried chipotles with the kosher salt and grind to a fine powder. Sprinkle both sides of the salmon with the chipotle salt, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours longer.

  3. prepare the salmon

    Brush the salmon with the remaining 1/4 cup of mezcal and tightly wrap the fillet in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

  4. prepare the salmon

    Unwrap the salmon. On a work surface, using a very sharp, thin knife, cut the fish at an angle crosswise into very thin slices. Arrange the slices on a platter.

  5. make the salad

    In a blender or food processor, puree the cream cheese with the lime juice and 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt. In a bowl, toss the sorrel with the red onion and the dressing. Serve the salad alongside the salmon.

Make Ahead

The salmon can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated for up to 4 days.


If sorrel is unavailable, use baby spinach.

Suggested Pairing

Clean, dry rosé

Contributed By Photo © Christina Holmes

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