jacques pepin's molasses-cured salmon

1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp nutmeg
freshly grated
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 1/2 lbs salmon
skinless center-cut fillet
black bread
buttered, could also use baguette
chopped small
extra-virgin olive oil
  • plastic wrap
  • cookie sheet with wire rack
JP = Jacques Pepin, our kitchen hero.

This recipe struck us as so weird, we just had to try it. We thought to ourselves, “Seriously? You can just put stuff on salmon, let it soak for a day, then dry it out in the fridge for another day?” Since it was from JP's book, we took a leap of faith and trusted the recipe, and we are glad we did! Though it requires a little bit of planning, we discovered an elegant and easy-to-prepare appetizer that we can now serve at our next party. Check it out!

Adapted from JP’s latest book, Essential Pepin.
Mix salt, sugar, cumin, allspice, paprika, nutmeg, and cayenne together in a small bowl.
Mix molasses and soy sauce together in a separate bowl.
Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and place the salmon in the middle. Evenly spread spice mixture on both sides of the salmon. Then evenly coat both sides with the molasses mixture. Wrap the salmon tightly and store in fridge on a tray for 24 hours.
The next day, unwrap the salmon and throw out any leftover marinade. Lightly pat the salmon with paper towels. Place the salmon on a rack over a cookie sheet and dry it out in the fridge for another 24 hours.
When ready to serve, slice the salmon at a diagonal. Garnish with the onions, capers, and olive oil. Serve with buttered black bread or crisped slices of baguette.
source: Jacques Pepin's Essential Pepin