Brine: 4 cups brewed black tea
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons salt
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
While tea is still warm, stir in all of the ingredients and allow to cool to room temperature. Add salmon and refrigerate at least two hours; overnight, if possible.
3 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed
Salt, pepper, and paprika, for sprinkling
1/2 cup white rice, chopped coarsely in a spice grinder
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup Earl Grey tea leaves
Remove salmon from brine and pat dry. Rub with a little oil and place on individual sheets of wax or parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, and some coriander. Line the bottom of a wok with aluminum foil and add the rice, sugar, tea, and remaining coriander in a mound in the center. Turn heat on medium. As soon as the mixture begins to smoke, place a bamboo steamer with the salmon and wax paper inside and cover with foil and seal. Reduce heat to low. Allow salmon to smoke for 12 minutes, turn heat off and keep covered for another 7 minutes. Remove foil. Press the center of the salmon with your finger, it should be firm to the touch. If not, place in the oven at 350º F. for 5 minutes or so. This dish is served at City Grocery with Sweet Corn Salsa, Spiced Crème Fraîche and Cider-Wilted Pea Shoots. See the restaurant’s website for the entire recipe. www.citygroceryonline.com
Recipe by John Currence, award-winning chef and owner of City Grocery in Oxford, Mississippi, contributed by Ellen Swandiak, our Hip Hostess columnist
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