Mezcal-Cured Salmon with Sorrel Salad

Instead of smoking salmon, Alex Stupak ingeniously adds smokiness with chipotles and mezcal, then serves the silky salmon with a crisp sorrel salad drizzled with a lime and cream cheese dressing.

Mezcal-Cured Salmon with Sorrel Salad
Photo: © Christina Holmes
Total Time:
30 mins
8 1-course servings

“Either a bagel or a tortilla would be suitable with this dish,” Stupak says.



  • 1 (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 red onion, thinly sliced


Prepare the salmon

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Make the salad

  1. 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

A clean, dry Rosé.

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