- 1 cup kosher salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lime zest
- 1/3 cup coarsely cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons lemon or other citrus-flavored vodka (recommended: Absolut Citron)
- 1 (4-pound) side fresh salmon, pin bones removed, rinsed under cold water and patted dry
- 1 1/2 dozen fresh bagels
- 1 pound cream cheese
- 1/4 cup minced red onions
In a mixing bowl, combine the salt, sugar, cilantro, zests, cracked black pepper, and vodka and mix thoroughly. Place the salmon, skin side down, on several large sheets of plastic wrap. Cover the entire salmon with the curing mixture, packing the cure into the salmon. Wrap the salmon completely and tightly in the plastic wrap and place the salmon, skin side down on a half-sheet pan. Place something heavy like a skillet, weights, or a brick (which needs to be wrapped in plastic wrap). This will help infuse the salmon into the mixture. Refrigerate the salmon for 24 hours.
Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and wipe off the curing mixture. Rinse the salmon briefly under cold water, removing all the cure. Using a sharp knife, slice the salmon from the skin, cutting diagonally and making cuts as paper thin as possible. Serve with the bagels, cream cheese and red onions.