Bittered Sling orange and juniper cured wild Pacific salmon

Bittered Sling bitters

Don't underestimate the versatility of bitters. Great in cocktails, bitters can also enhance dishes, like this cured salmon by Jonathan Chovancek, co-proprietor of Bittered Sling Bitters. The orange and juniper bitters perfume an otherwise plain dish. Head to your local fish market to pick up some fresh and high-quality salmon for this, but if you're in Western Canada, that shouldn't be too hard to find!

Orange and juniper cured wild Pacific salmon

2 1/2 lb wild salmon filet, skin-on, bones removed
1/4 cup Bittered Sling Orange & Juniper Bitters
2 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp sugar
tarragon, to taste

Line a shallow pan long enough to accommodate the fish with plastic wrap so that the length of the wrap is double the length of the pan. Trim the salmon of any fins and bones. Lay it skin side down in the center of the pan. Gently pull the sides of the plastic up to create a well around the fish.

Pour the bitters over the salmon. It will run off and into the well but this is a good thing.

Combine the salt and sugar. Sprinkle evenly over the fish, giving the thicker parts of the salmon a little more. Add tarragon. Bring the plastic up and over to enrobe the fish and cure tightly.

Cut a piece of cardboard the same size as the fish and place on top of the fish in the pan. Place a kitchen weight of no more than 2kg over the cardboard to gently press the cure into the fish. If you have a vacuum sealer you can perform the cure inside the bag and seal it under medium pressure. Place the weighted fish in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 

After 24 hours unwrap and flip the salmon ever so that it is skin side up. Repeat the wrapping and weighting process and refrigerate another 24 hours.

After this time has passed remove the fish from the cure and lay skin side down on a cutting board. Gently remove the curing brine with a towel by wiping it clean. Flip the fish over and repeat on the skin side. Do not rinse the fish under water. Slice thin and serve.

60 thin slices