Recipe! Cured fish with tequila.

Lots of pictures in this post today… I’ll try to do this recipe justice.

Living where I live today is different from anywhere else I’ve lived. I grew up catholic, way back in the old days when I used to go to mass all the time. However, the neighborhood I live in now has a high concentration of Jewish Americans, as well as Russian Jews and Polish, African, and, you get the idea. Over time, I’ve been lucky enough to make lots of friends in this part of the world, which means I’ve been invited to breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and everything in between by people who are as friendly as can be. Often, there’s some kind of cured or smoked fish on the menu. Not a big deal, right? Unless you’re used to eating beef and pork all the time. There’s a huge difference between a meat-and-potatoes Midwestern diet like I grew up with, and a Mediterranean-influenced Kosher diet.

But I’ve gotta admit… some of the food I’ve been exposed to has been awesome. Like the gravlax that I put together the other day. This isn’t a Kosher-exclusive dish, to be sure, but had I not been exposed to the influences I’ve been exposed to here, I probably never would have tried this. And I love it!

You’re going to find this is a very easy recipe, and one you can vary according to what’s on hand in your pantry and what you really like. If you close it up tightly after it’s cured, you can probably keep it in the fridge for four or five days.


I started with a ¾ pound filet. What you see was labeled as steelhead trout, but you might also see it as freshwater salmon in places. You’ll also need a deep dish, and a brick or something weighty to place on top of the fish while it cures. For my recipe, I included:

½ cup of kosher salt

1 tablespoon celery salt

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon dill (fresh is best, but I used dried because that’s what I had)

1 tablespoon McCormick’s® Grill Mates® mesquite seasoning

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Basically, you mix all of the dry ingredients, then add the olive oil and tequila until you have what seems like a dry paste. If you think your mixture is too wet, just add some more dry ingredients.


Now it’s time to get your hands dirty. Put your fish in your deep dish… this is where it will sit for a couple of days. Take your mixture and rub it over your fish. Make sure the mixture covers every single inch of the surface of the fish. If you don’t have enough to cover the fish, make more.


Once the fish is covered in your seasonings, wrap everything up. First in plastic, then in foil. Again, make sure the entire surface of the fish is covered. Place the fish in your refrigerator, and then place your “something weighty” on top. We used a brick from our landscaping outside, and wrapped it in foil. This helps your spices to really get into your fish, and it helps with the curing process too.


Then the hard part starts. Because you have to wait 48 hours to unwrap everything and dig in. Don’t be surprised if some of the liquid drains from the fish during this time. That’s normal, and it’s why you have it in a deep dish.

Once your 48 hours are up, get the dish out of the refrigerator and uncover everything. If you have to, use a paper towel to remove any leftover moisture.


I love bagels, but I don’t love what they do to my BGs, so I mostly avoid them. Instead, I opt for small crackers for my lox. I thinly slice the fish, then put it on the cracker with a little cheese (provolone in this case, because… that’s what I had), and maybe some tomato. If I can make some sort of swanky mustard sauce for it, I might do that too, but that’s a matter of personal taste. Anyway, the recipe turned out great, and I’m looking forward to enjoying this for the next few days, and sharing it too.


So there you have it. Good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sorry I don’t have a carb count; any carbs come primarily from the tablespoon of brown sugar in the spice mix, so it can’t be too much.

I hope you get a chance to make this recipe too. It’s a great example of something that’s easy, but tasty. Enjoy!

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