Arctic Char Cured with Maple, Salt and Ramp-Infused Wild Leeks

We made this simple recipe (it’s similar to gravlax) for our New Years Party.  If you’ve never cured fish before, you really ought to – it’s super easy, fabulous and involves minimal work!  It’s great for breakfast, an appetizer or can be used as part of a salad or main course.

There’s not a lot of rules when it comes to salt-curing fish.  Start with fresh fish, cover it in salt (on each side), add other flavours if desired, wrap tight in foil and place in the fridge under something heavy.  Let it sit for 36-48 hours, rinse it well and you’re done!

Arctic Char Cured with Maple, Salt and Ramp Infused Wild Leeks Sustainable Fish Fish

I especially liked this recipe because it included 2 of our preserves from earlier in the year.  If you don’t have these ingredients, don’t stress – you can make honey-candied orange zest (it’s used only when you serve the dish) in minutes and you can use plain vodka (or omit it altogether) if you’d like!


For curing

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 ounces of maple syrup
  • 2 ounces of ramp-infused vodka
  • Zest of 1-2 mandarin oranges
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 pound (approx) of Arctic Char or other sustainable fish. We are big advocates of responsible/ sustainable fish but only a few years ago we had no ideas what that meant or where to start.  If you’d like to learn more about the topic, we have a gentle introduction called, “What is Sustainable Fish” that we hope you’ll check out!


  1. Set the fish aside, mix all other ingredients together.
  2. Lay a sheet of foil out.  Put enough salt-maple mixture to make a solid bed for the fish (the end-goal is to have the fish wrapped in it).
  3. Lay the fish skin-side down on the foil.
  4. Zest your citrus and distribute of the flesh of the fish.
  5. Pour the remaining salt mixture over top.
  6. Wrap with foil.  You’ll want to wrap it tight AND use at least two layers of foil – the salt will remove liquid from the fish and you don’t want t a leak.  Wrapping it tightly helps encourage contact with the salt.
  7. Place in fridge for about 24-36 hours – covered with something heavy (I used an unopened milk jug for the first bit then used some jars with water in them).
  8. Pull from fridge and rinse fish under cold running water to remove the cure – don’t worry about getting all the citrus pieces off.  The more you cure it, the less salty it will taste.
  9. Remove the skin (it’s too tough to eat) and slice as thinly as possible (a sharp knife helps).

Additional Ingredients for Serving (Optional)

  • Chevre or cream cheese (ours included herbes des provences – you could also mix some herbes salees with a nice chvre for the same)

Directions for Serving

  • Roll a small ball of cheese (I used two spoon), place on fish and place a small bit of candies orange zest on it.  Best eaten as a single bite.

We have a similar recipe for maple-cured salmon as well (the differences appear subtle in the ingredient listing but the taste is definitely different)

Have you ever cured fish before?  If so, what flavors do you like to add?  If you haven’t, will you try now?


  1. S. Elsworth says:

    You’re going to force me to get my behind into the kitchen again (long story)! A gastrointerologist on the Dr. Oz program recommended “fermented” vegetables (specifically, carrots) – Google led me to your site (congratulations – your fermented carrots and garlic recipe put you third or fourth down on the search results’ first page under the sponsored/paid links – a very big deal!).

    Yours is an exceptional site and now bookmarked. THANK YOU! Know that your efforts are very much appreciated. So much more than fermented carrots…

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