- 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
1. Baste the fish with the whiskey and set on a plate in the refrigerator.
2. Whisk the salt, sugar, fennel fronds, and lemon zest in a bowl.
3. Place a piece of plastic wrap that's three times the width of the salmon fillet on your work surface. Spread half the cure across the plastic evenly. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the cure. Cover the exposed flesh with the rest of the cure, pressing down firmly.
4. Toss the fennel slices, fennel seeds, and pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle evenly across the top of the fish.
5. Wrap the fish tightly in plastic wrap and place in a sealed/airtight container or ziploc storage bag. (The fish will leak fish juice.) Refrigerate for two days.
6. When it's ready, rinse the fish with cold water to remove excess salt. Pat it dry, slice thinly, and eat.