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Personal Chef Secrets: Cured Salmon Rolls

About This Dish

As a personal chef, some of the most valuable information lies in the understanding of how to create your own version of a product that can be bought in the store for substantially cheaper. Cured salmon is one of those items. Cured salmon is sometimes 4 times more expensive per pound than fresh salmon. But the only difference is salt, sugar, and time. So today I’ll be showing you how to create a simple dish that has very few ingredients per recipe. Let’s get started!


The Salmon

1 Small Mixing Bowl

1 Whisk

1/2 C Sugar

1/2 C Kosher Salt

1 Zest Lemon

Plastic Wrap

1# Salmon Fillet

Fresh Dill (1 Oz Will Do)

Small Tray

Vac Seal Bag

In the mixing bowl, using the whisk, mix together the salt, sugar, and lemon zest until all ingredients are well incorporated and mixture resembles that of damp sand. Once mixed, take the plastic wrap and lay down a sheet, or a couple of sheets depending on the size you need for the filet. First, lay down pieces of dill in the shape and size of the salmon. Then add a layer of the cure on top of the dill. Press the salmon flesh side down and continue to add the cure until the salmon can be evenly covered.

Wrap tightly in plastic, place on the tray, and slide it straight into the vac seal bag. This is only to ensure it does not leak. If you do not have a vac seal the tray will suffice. Place the salmon into the refrigerator for 24 hours, unwrap the salmon and rinse with cold water until all of the cure has washed off.

Pat the salmon dry on both sides. Using a sharp knife slice the salmon thinly lengthwise starting with the flesh size up until you get close to the skin. You will start to see a gray-red-ish bloodline. You can still use this but it has a slight irony flavor that I will often avoid if I can.  Keep the salmon refrigerated while you prepare the other items which we will explore next.

The Filling

1 T Chopped Dill

1/4 Cup Pickled Red Onions

3 T Chopped Capers

2 T Lemon Segments

8 oz Cream Cheese

1/4 Cup Dijon

1 Small Mixing Bowl

1 Whisk

1 Piping Bag

The Dill & Capers

Okay, so pick the dill removing the stems and chop them up so that they are easily spread onto the salmon. Do the same with capers and keep them in small containers while you prepare the rest of the filling components.

Pickled Red Onions

When it comes to the pickled red onions, here is a simple recipe that you can use for pickled red onions. To pickle the red onions first small dice the red onions. Using a 1:1 ratio of water to vinegar, for 1 red onion you need 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar, heat the liquid in a small pot. You can add salt and sugar to your liking and start creating your own flavor profiles. Once the liquid is about to boil, and the salt and the sugar are dissolved you can place the onions in the liquid. Transfer to a container and place in the fridge to cool. They will be ready in an hour.

Lemon Segments

For the lemon segments, take a lemon and using a sharp knife slice off the top and bottom then cut the rind off exposing the flesh below. You can then take the knife and cut out the segments of flesh avoiding any seeds, pulp, or membrane holding the flesh in place. Then chop these little segments into small pieces.

The Cream Cheese

Pick out your favorite cream cheese and dijon mustard. This is a really simple recipe, but make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature or warm. Simply mix the two together. If you want some extra credit points to add a tsp of salt and a tablespoon of champagne vinegar. Place it in a piping bag. But if you don’t have a piping bag don’t worry. You can keep it in a small container and using a spatula can be easily spread onto the salmon, just be sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature.

The Roll

To make the roll the first thing you want to do is put down multiple sheets of plastic wrap so that the roll will be sturdy. After the plastic wrap is laid out, place the salmon onto the plastic into the closest thing that represents a rectangle. You can overlap any pieces while using small pieces to cover up any holes. Once this is complete flatten the salmon so that it is even. I used a tray and parchment paper but you can use more plastic wrap and anything with a flat bottom.

You can then spread a thin layer of cream cheese leaving about a half-inch of space around the edge. There is a good possibility you will not need all of the cream cheese so try not to overdo it or you will have a hard time rolling it up. Add the rest of the ingredients evenly on top of the cream cheese.

We can now start rolling. Using the plastic wrap, slowly fold the salmon on top of each other keeping the salmon very tight as you roll each part. Once you get the roll completed twist one end very tight and tie it off and repeat on the other side. For this, I took plastic wrap and stretched it out to make little ropes to tie each end off. Set in the freezer for one hour or until the salmon roll is about half frozen and very firm. You can then slice the salmon into 3/4″ rounds. Unwrap it from the plastic and place it on a tray.

The Garnish

You can simply garnish the top with the same ingredients that you used for the filling. However, if you want to mix it up you can use various garnishes based on items and ingredients you like! To make the fried capers in this video simply drain capers, dry them with a paper towel and fry in a small pot with neutral oil at 350 F until all the water bubbles have receded. Place the fried capers on a paper towel to soak up any remaining oil. You are now ready to garnish the dish. Garnish the dish on a tray so that when you plate it, the plate stays nice and clean.



Cured Salmon Rolls