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Smoked and Cured Salmon with Orange Zest

Cold-smoking salmon usually requires an elaborate setup. Jason Alley's brilliant trick of quickly smoking the fish, then curing it like gravlax, is a great option for the home cook.

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  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 2 pounds

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  • One 2-pound center-cut salmon fillet

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange

  • 2 tablespoons vodka


  1. Assemble the smoker by spreading 1/2 cup small, dry hardwood chips over the bottom of the smoker, then place the drip tray and rack directly on the chips. (To jury-rig a smoker, line a wok or disposable aluminum baking pan with heavy-duty foil and spread with dry wood chips; top with another layer of foil—to catch drips—and a rack. Cover the wok or pan by sealing it tightly with a lid or sheet of foil.)
  2. In a well-ventilated area, set the smoker over high heat. After 1 minute, when smoke rises from all sides, put the salmon on the rack, skin side down. Cover and smoke for 20 seconds. Move off the heat; smoke for 30 seconds longer.
  3. Set the salmon, skin side up, in a glass baking dish. Mix the salt, brown sugar, coriander and orange zest; rub the spice mix and the vodka over both sides of the salmon. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days, turning daily.
  4. Rinse the salmon fillet and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the salmon on an angle, cutting toward the tail, and serve.


Stovetop smokers and wood chips can be ordered online at cameronscookware.com.

Suggested Pairing

Fragrant, citrusy Vermentino.

Contributed By Photo © David Prince Published February 2011

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