Citrus-Cured Salmon

Makes 2 to 2 1/2 pounds

Serve this salmon on toasted baguette slices topped with finely chopped red onion and chives, grated lemon zest, and creme fraiche for a delicious canape. This recipe comes from Michael Ruhlman's "Ruhlman's Twenty."


  • 1 cup coarse salt

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

  • 1 (2-to-3-pound) skin-on salmon fillet, pin bones removed and very thin pieces of flesh trimmed


  1. In a small bowl, stir salt and sugar to combine. In another small bowl, combine orange, lemon and lime zest; set aside.

  2. Place a sheet of parchment paper-lined aluminum foil, large enough to extend beyond the length of the salmon, on work surface. Spread one-third the salt mixture in center of parchment-lined foil; place salmon skin-side down on salt bed. Sprinkle zest mixture evenly over salmon and top with remaining salt mixture; salmon should be completely covered.

  3. Fold foil up to contain salt; place a second sheet of parchment paper-lined aluminum foil over salmon and firmly crimp sheets together to form a tight package in which salt mixture is in contact with all surfaces of salmon. Transfer salmon packet to a baking sheet. Set a pan or large dish on top of salmon; top with cans or bricks to weight down. Transfer to refrigerator; refrigerate for 24 hours.

  4. Unwrap salmon and remove it from salt mixture. Rinse salmon and pat dry using paper towels. Set salmon on a rack or paper towel-lined tray and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours more.


Cook's Notes

Salmon can be wrapped in parchment paper and kept refrigerated until ready to use, up to 2 weeks.

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