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Cured Salmon with Fennel

Cured Salmon, grav lox, or cold smoked lox

The perfect appetizer for impressing guests. A simple recipe of Popsie’s Sockeye Salmon Fillets cured with a mixture of delicious sugars and salts. The time is worth the wait – once fully cured, serve with a dollop of crème fraiche and a bagel or crackers. Your guests will be begging for more! 

Cured Salmon with Fennel

Servings: 6

Recipe from The Popsie Test Kitchen

Cured Salmon with Fennel


  • 1 Popsie Sockeye Salmon Fillet skin on, pin bones removed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup sugar light brown, packed
  • ¾ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup pernod (anise-flavored liquor)
  • 1 bulb fennel, with stalks and leaves, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fennel seeds, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp white peppercorns, toasted and cracked



  1. Mix the sugars and salt well. Sprinkle 1/2 of the sugar/salt mixture over the bottom of the baking dish.
  2. Place salmon skin side down on the mixture.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the salmon with the pernod, then cover with the remaining salt mixture.
  4. Layer the sliced fennel over the top, followed by the fennel seeds and the white peppercorns.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Place a large pan on top of the salmon and weigh it down with canned goods or brick between 4-8 pounds.
  7. Refrigerate salmon for 48 hours. (After 48 hours, the salmon should be firm to the touch. If it stills feels raw and squishy, cover and leave to cure for 24 more hours.)
  8. When salmon is fully cured, discard the spices, rinse the salt and sugar off.
  9. Pat dry. To store, wrap butcher paper.
  10. To serve, slice thinly and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and a bagel or crackers.


Recipe Note

To toast peppercorns or any small spices, heat them gently in any small skillet.

Optional Preparations: Substitute any of the following for fennel for flavor variations.

Traditional Grav Lox: Generous bunch of dill.

Citrus: Orange and lemon zest. 

Pastrami Style: Black pepper and coriander

Horseradish: Grated fresh horseradish.

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