Ouzo Cured Salmon

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Once again I turn to my favorite Greek restaurant Kokkari in San Francisco for a recipe from their fabulous cookbook, “KOKKARI”. I had dinner there just a few weeks ago and I ordered the Cured Salmon as an appetizer, it was simply amazing! I had never tasted salmon like this before. It had a different element that tasted familiar but I couldn’t quit put my finger on it. I just had to ask the chef what was that incredible flavor I was picking up on. Most chefs are a bit reluctant to share recipes but since this was in their cookbook he told me without hesitation that the salmon was cured in Ouzo!
The salmon tasted incredibly fresh, slightly sweet with a teeny tiny essence of licorice, a tart citrusy flavor from the fresh lemon juice and a fruity green taste from the olive oil. It was so good, I ordered a second. I just knew when I got home I had to make this and share it with my family and friends.
The very next day I brought out the cookbook to look up the salmon recipe.  The very first paragraph said that, “You need a good fishmonger to make this simple dish work; and that the salmon must be impeccably fresh”. When I read that I knew that I had to make a sea-food run to my favorite place to buy fish, Santa Monica Seafood. Santa Monica Seafood has the best, freshest fish other than the sea!
Santa Monica Seafood is a family-owned and operated company with a history stretching back to 19th century Italy. (Hmmm, I thought I felt a connection)  In other words they have been in business forever and their reputation is well known and respected.
Shopping there is a real treat with friendly, patient people to help you and guide you. It’s cheery and bright, with cases that wrap around the interior of the store from one end to the other with fish beautifully displayed. NOTHING smells fishy. In fact when you walk into the store you smell the subtle brininess of the ocean that is clean and sweet. Customers are leisurely and happily dining on one side of the store enjoying bowls of clam chowder, lobster or their fresh catch of the day.
I used to live 10 minutes from the store, now I live in another city 45 minutes north of Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter I make the drive whenever I serve fish because it is so worth it. I made the drive to pick up the fish to make my Ouzo Cured Salmon.
After I explained to the gentleman behind the counter what I was going to make he expertly pick out a beautiful piece of wild caught salmon, firm with that amazing deep rich color that only salmon in the wild have. I left happy and enthusiastic about making the salmon
If you are a fish lover like me you will absolutely love this recipe.
The salmon is super easy to make and it only take 10 minutes to cure!


Serves 6
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon ouzo liqueur
½ teaspoon honey
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ pound skinless sashimi-grade salmon fillet
1/4 teaspoon, Sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped coarsely chopped fresh dill
6 lemon wedges


Whisk together the lemon juice, ouzo and honey.
Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Set aside.
Feel for and remove any pin bones, from the salmon fillet. If the filet has a white, string-like “tendon” running down the center, trim it away. Trim any gray flash on the skin side.
Spoon the marinade over the fish, season the fish with salt and black pepper.
Let marinate at least 10 minutes before serving. The fish will begin to change color.
Slice the salmon thin about 1/4 inches thick with a sharp chefs’s knife. Arrange the slices side by side, close together on a chilled platter. Drizzle olive oil, lemon juice, fresh dill and cracked black pepper over the top! Serve with lemon wedges on the side!
Santa Monica Sea Food http://bit.ly/bbfd3w
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