Pickled Salmon
by Joyce Goldstein

"Passover is a wonderful opportunity to gather with family, and to instill in the children the special tradition and heritage of Passover. I like to make foods that are extra special such as gribines which is certainly a special once-in-a-year indulgence. This recipe is a re-working of a very old family recipe. My mother-in-law used to talk lox,-also known as smoked salmon, and soak it in water for days to remove the salt, and then put the fish in pickling brine. As we can get local salmon, I thought why not use fresh fish for this dish? I tried it and it has become a much requested favorite during salmon season. During Passover we serve this along with gefilte fish as a special holiday fish plate. The-onions are not just a visual garnish. They pick up the flavor of the marinade and are a delicious counterpoint to the salmon. Serve with rye bread or, at Passover, with matzoh."

Yields 4-6 servings

  • 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
  • 4 white or yellow onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 pounds salmon fillet, skin and bones removed

Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Let this mixture cool completely. Cut the-salmon into pieces that are approximately 1 inch by 2 inches. In a ceramic crock glass bowl-or plastic container, place a layer of salmon pieces, then a sprinkling of pickling spices and-bay leaves, a layer of sliced onions, then repeat the layering of salmon, spices, and onions-until you have used them all. Pour the cooled marinade over the fish. If the fish has a-tendency to float, weigh down the fish with a ceramic plate. Cover the container. Refrigerate-the salmon for 3 to 5 days. Serve the salmon, along with its marinated onions, and rye bread. A sliced cucumber salad with sour cream dressing is also a nice accompaniment.


Restaurant Consultant; Author, Back to Square One: Old World Food in a New World Kitchen, Kitchen Conversations: Robust Recipes and Lessons in-Flavor from One of America's Most Innovative Chefs (William Morrow); Taverna:-The Best of Casual Mediterranean Cookinb (Casual Cuisines of the World)-(Sunset); and the forthcoming Cucina Ebracia: Flavors of the Italian Jewish Kitchen