1 2-lb. boneless Scottish or king farmed salmon fillet, skin-on*
2/3 cup whole black peppercorns
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt (preferably Diamond Crystal, can also use Morton)
2 bunches fresh dill
8 to 10 bagels**
Red onion, sliced
• Wash the salmon and pat dry. Turn the fish skin-side-up and, using a very sharp knife, cut 3 equally spaced, shallow cuts into the skin. Set aside.
• Combine the peppercorns, sugar and salt in a bowl. Break up any lumps in the sugar with your fingers and stir, making sure the sugar and salt are thoroughly combined.
• Place 4 to 6 sprigs of dill in the bottom of a large nonreactive baking dish. Sprinkle ¼ cup of the sugar and salt mixture on the bottom of the dish.
• Place the salmon skin-side-down in the baking dish atop the dill and sugar and salt mixture.
• Place another 4 to 6 dill sprigs atop the salmon. Sprinkle with another ¼ cup of the sugar and salt mixture. Loosely cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 24 hours.
• Transfer the salmon from the baking dish to a clean plate or cutting board. Pour off any liquid that has accumulated in the baking dish. Discard the dill sprigs in the bottom of the dish and replace with 4 to 6 new sprigs. Add another ¼ cup of the sugar and salt mixture to the bottom of the dish, and place the salmon back in the dish, skin-side-down. Replace the dill sprigs atop the salmon with 4 to 6 new sprigs and sprinkle with another ¼ cup of the sugar and salt mixture. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 24 hours.
• Repeat this process 2 more times.
• On the fifth day, remove the salmon from the baking dish. Rinse the fish well and pat dry with paper towels. Place a drying rack over 2 layers of paper towels. Place the salmon on the drying rack and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
• On the sixth day, the salmon is ready for slicing and serving. Using a very sharp chef’s knife, carefully slice off only the very top layer of the salmon in several pieces. Discard. Next, work at an angle to slice very thin slices of salmon, moving from one end of the fish to the other. The slices should be so thin that you can see the knife through the fish at all times. Continue until you have sliced the entire fish.
• Serve with freshly toasted bagels, cream cheese, sliced red onion, freshly sliced summer tomatoes and a sprinkle of capers.
Get the freshest catch from Bob’s.
Bob’s Seafood, 8660 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.993.4844, bobsseafoodstl.com
Find them plump and perfect at The Bagel Factory.
The Bagel Factory, 1256 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, 314.432.3583