Bourbon Cured Salmon

1 pound cured salmon
Prep Time:
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Just a moment please...

Bourbon Cured Salmon from Macheesmo
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A whole side of salmon basted with bourbon and cured in a delicious fennel and brown sugar cure. Easy to make and very delicious.

Adapted from a GQ recipe.


1.5 pounds salmon (skin on, no bones)
1/4 cup bourbon or whiskey
1.5 cups coarse sea salt
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 fennel bulb (dice tops and slice bulb)
1/4 cup fennel seeds, toasted
1 lemon, zest only
1 tablespoon black pepper


Sour cream
Red onion, diced
Chives, minced
Creme Fraiche


1) Combine salt and sugar in a medium bowl with diced fennel tops (fronds/leaves) and lemon zest. Combine well.

2) Toast fennel seeds for a few minutes in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Combine with black pepper and sliced fennel bulbs in a small bowl.

3) Lay out salmon filet with skin side down and baste liberally with bourbon.

4) Lay out two layers of plastic wrap and put down half of the salt cure on the plastic.

5) Lay the salmon on the cure and cover with the other half of the cure. Then top with fennel mixture.

6) Cover with another layer of plastic wrap and wrap tightly and store in a large plastic or glass container. It will leak a lot of liquid as it cures so be sure there are no holes in whatever you store it in.

7) Store in the fridge for 3 days, turning once halfway through.

8) When salmon is done, rinse very well with cold water.

9) Use a sharp knife to cut off skin and then slice salmon very thinly.

10) Serve with crackers, sour cream, red onions, capers, chives, etc.