Smoked and Cured Salmon with Orange Zest.
© David Prince

Smoked and Cured Salmon with Orange Zest

  • ACTIVE: 15 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 15 MIN Plus 3 days curing
  • SERVINGS: Makes 2 pounds

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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  1. One 2-pound center-cut salmon fillet
  2. 2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  3. 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  5. Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  6. 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

Suggested Pairing

Fragrant, citrusy Vermentino.