Five minutes attention a day over the course of five days and the result is home-cured salmon fresher than anything you will find at the store. The Bernamoffs use farmed king salmon because they find wild salmon is too lean for curing. Letting the fillet rest for a day allows the curing compounds to distribute themselves evenly through the salmon.
1 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup whole black peppercorns
1 bunch dill
2-pound boneless king salmon fillet, with skin
In a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar and peppercorns and stir to combine.
In a large glass baking dish, place 3 sprigs of dill across the bottom and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the salt mixture.
Make 3 shallow cuts in the skin of the fillet. Place the salmon, skin side down, on top of the salt and dill and arrange more dill on top of the salmon. Sprinkle salmon with another 1/4 cup of the salt mixture. Reserve remaining salt mixture and dill. Loosely cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove fish from baking dish and set aside. Pour off any liquid that has accumulated. Arrange fresh dill sprigs in baking dish, add 1/4 cup salt mixture, put fillet on top, add more dill sprigs, and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup salt mixture. Cover dish and refrigerate overnight.
For the next two days, pour off any accumulated liquid and replace dill sprigs if they look wilted. Sprinkle with half the remaining salt mixture each day.
On the fifth day, remove salmon, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Place the salmon on a small drying rack inside a clean baking dish and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
When ready to serve, slice very thinly at a shallow angle working from the front of the fillet toward the tail. Makes 16 2-ounce servings.
Source: Adapted from “The Mile End Cookbook” by Noah and Rae Bernamoff (Clarkston Potter, $27.50).
Per serving: 90 calories (percent of calories from fat, 27), 15 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, trace fiber, 3 g fat (trace saturated), 39 mg cholesterol, 321 mg sodium.