Bourbon-Sage Lox
Step up your holiday appetizing game with Jordan Zucker’s Winter Bourbon-Sage Lox.


  • 1 c kosher salt
  • ½ c light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ c yuzu zest
  • ¼ c chopped fresh sage
  • 1 t whole black peppercorns
  • 1 salmon fillet, skin-on (4lbs)
  • ¼ c bourbon

PREP TIME: 15 Minutes

TOTAL TIME: 24-36 Hours (Yes, That Long)



Combine all of the dry-cure ingredients in a medium bowl (that’s everything but the salmon & bourbon).

Place a piece of foil down, big enough to wrap around the entire fillet.

Top with a piece of parchment paper, & then a piece of plastic wrap.

Sprinkle a third of the dry cure in the middle to create a bed for the fish.

Place the salmon skin side down on the bed.

Pour the rest of the dry cure over the fish to fully submerge & cover it.

It’ll look like a lot, because it is & it’s supposed to.

Pour the bourbon evenly over the entire thing. (it all swims more in the rub than in the booze.)

Wrap the salmon tightly in each layer & transfer to a baking dish (or something else that will catch juice).

Place a weight on the wrapped fish & put the entire situation in the fridge.

Get creative with the weight: you can use bagged rice, paperweights, your old 1970s encyclopedia yearning for its sense of purpose etc.

Refrigerate overnight & flip after 12 hours.

After another 12 hours, give it a check.

Remove the fish from the fridge, open it up, and poke it.

It’s supposed to be firm around the edges but should still bounce back so there’s a thin crust around the fish and it isn’t dry all the way through.

When this consistency has been achieved (usually in 24 to 36 hours, depending on how thick the fillet is and how much weight you have on it), rinse it off, pat dry, and thinly slice at an angle.

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