Here's my question – if smoked salmon is SO great, why is it always buried under a pile of cream cheese, tomato, onion, capers and lemon? To us, the true gem of the brunch world is pickled salmon. Much like what you'd find at the Upper West Side landmark, Zabar's, salmon and onions are "cooked" in a zippy sweet and sour marinade. the resulting tender pink salmon needs no disguise – maybe just a nice slice of pumpernickel for this Broadway star.
2 lb salmon fillet, skinned, rinsed and pat dry
1 cup water
1 cup white distilled vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 dried bay leaves
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 large sweet onions (Vidalia), sliced 1/4-inch thick
1) Cut salmon into 1-inch by 2-inch cubes, making sure to clean off any brown parts. Set aside.
2) In a large pot, combine water, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the salmon and sliced onions, cooking uncovered for 5 minutes. Transfer salmon, onions and marinade to a glass container. Let cool at room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 days before serving. To serve, pour off the liquid and arrange the salmon with pickled onions. Keeps in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
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