Pike photo from Adobe Stock/DeStefano
Curing fish in this fashion is similar to the Salt, Sugar, and Dill–Cured Salmon, but the jalapeños and cilantro here add a distinct punch to the fish. It takes best to a lighter-flavored fish such as pike, but you can experiment with other fish, as you prefer.
Yield: Serves 8 to 12 as a snack
Photo from Adobe Stock/olhaafanasieva
- 1 cup (300 g) kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
- 6 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and grated
- 2 bunches fresh cilantro, roughly chopped, 1 cup (16 g) reserved for garnishing
- 3 pounds (1.36 kg) skin-off pike fillets, cleaned
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- Crème fraîche, for serving
- Fresh limes, for serving
Photo from Adobe Stock/aamulya
- In a small bowl, stir together the salt, sugar, jalapeños, and cilantro.
- Sprinkle one-third of the salt, sugar, and herb mixture over the bottom of a glass baking dish large enough to hold the fish comfortably.
- Place half the pike fillets, skin-side down, in the dish. Sprinkle the flesh side with the same amount of the salt mixture.
- Place the remaining pike fillets, skin-side up, on top of the first half. Sprinkle the remaining salt mixture over the top of the fillets.
- Cover the fish directly with plastic wrap and weigh it down with something weighty, but not too heavy — say, a six-pack of beer. Place them in the refrigerator.
- Flip and drain the fillets every 12 hours for 48 hours.
- Wipe off any excess salt mixture from the fillets.
- Remove the skin and thinly slice the pike before serving on tortilla chips topped with crème fraîche, sprinkled with fresh lime juice, and garnished with cilantro.
Also from Fish: Recipes and Techniques for Freshwater Fish:
- Butchering and Filleting "Two Fillet" Fish
- Salt, Sugar, and Dill-Cured Salmon
- Cured Salmon with Crème Fraiche, Lemon, and Dill on Toast
Reprinted with permission from Fish: Recipes and Techniques for Freshwater Fish by Jon Wipfli and photography by Colleen Eversman and published by Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc., 2019.