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Marine Terroir Day 2017

Szechuan Peppercorn Cured Atlantic Salmon

Serves 8
Cakebread Cellars Culinary Team
Pairs well with:
Chardonnay, Napa Valley

From our 2017 Marine Terroir Day pair with our 2015 Chardonnay Napa Valley


2 T. black peppercorns
2 T. white peppercorns
2 T. pink peppercorns
2 T. Szechuan peppercorns
1 T. coriander seed
1 T. fennel seed
¼ c. kosher salt
¼ c. sugar
5-6 lbs. salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed

1 c. water
1 tsp. salt
4 oz. unsalted butter, diced
1 c. all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
½ c. Gruyere cheese, grated

1 avocado, sliced
1 small fennel bulb, shaved thinly
4 oz arugula

Szechuan Peppercorn Cured Atlantic Salmon

For the salmon cure: crush spices in mortar with pestle or transfer to work surface, cover with kitchen towel, and crush with mallet or bottom of heavy pan. Transfer spices to a small bowl. Mix in the salt and sugar.

Using a small sharp knife, cut 1-inch long slits through the skin of the salmon. Rub 1/3 of the spice mixture over skin. Place the salmon, skin side down in a glass baking dish. Rub the remaining spice mixture into the top of salmon. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the fish. Place plate or another pan on top of the plastic. Place heavy cans on the plate. Refrigerate 2 to 3 days, turning the salmon over each day to cure evenly.

After curing is complete; scrape spices off both sides of salmon. Using knife with a long thin blade, thinly slice salmon diagonally at 45-degree angle from the top of fillet toward skin and lay slices on a parchment-lined sheet pan.


In a heavy bottom saucepan, bring water, salt and butter to a strong boil. Stir in flour with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until dough pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and transfer to an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed with a paddle for 2-3 minutes to cool mixture slightly. With machine running, add eggs one at a time, waiting for each egg to be incorporated before adding the next. Add cheese and place in a pastry bag with a round number 6 tip. Pipe into small mounds, about 2 inches apart, on sheet trays lined with parchment paper. Dip your index finger in water and flatten the tops of each mound of dough. Bake in a preheated 400º oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

To assemble, cut the gougères in half horizontally. Place 1 or 2 slices of salmon, a slice avocado and a small amount fennel and a small amount of arugula in each and then put the top back on.

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