(Serves 12-14 as an appetizer)
4 lbs. skin-on salmon fillet, pin bones removed
2-3 bunches of dill, coarsely chopped (including stems); reserve 3 Tbs. for garnish
3/4 cup kosher salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs. peppercorns, crushed
1/2 cup vodka
❶ Cut salmon crosswise into two portions.
❷ In a bowl, combine dill, salt, sugar, and peppercorns.
❸ Fully cover the salmon using all of the salt mixture.
❹ Splash each portion of fish with a fourth cup of vodka.
❺ Sandwich the two fillets together so they’re flesh to flesh and wrap them very tightly in plastic wrap.
❻ Place the salmon on a plate in the refrigerator. Put another plate on top; the second plate should cover the fish and apply weight, which helps with the curing process.
❼ After 24 hours, remove the salmon from the refrigerator. Unwrap and flip, so the top piece is now the bottom and vice versa. Baste the fish with the liquid that’s accumulated in the plastic wrap and on the plate. Re-wrap and return to the refrigerator, again placing a plate on top to cover the fish and apply weight.
❽ After another 24 hours, repeat step seven. On the third day, the salmon will be cured.
❾ Separate the fish into two halves. Scrape and discard any excess cure and rinse lightly. Pat dry.
❿ To serve, slice the fish as thinly as possible on an extreme bias and garnish with reserved chopped dill.
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