pickled salmon

Pickled Salmon Recipe. Serving Ideas

Strictly speaking, Pickled Salmon is not cooked:

Please don’t gasp! Salmon pickles much the way herring and pickles do, in a brine. The combination of vinegar-salt-sugar cures the fish quickly and effortlessly. The ketchup imparts wonderful color and a pleasing sweet-and-sour flavor to the pickled salmon. No, there doesn’t seem to be a limit on how many hats salmon can wear: All delicious, all quick, all healthy! There is hardly any shmogersbord without some pickled salmon recipe or other.

Pickled salmon is delicious alone, with tiny boiled potatoes or on top of mixed greens.

This is a Russian favorite that takes only a minute to prepare and keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator. Move over once in a while, pickled herring, we love you, but here is a most welcome change! Pickled salmon makes a great first course, and it looks great on a buffet display.

Serving ideas:

Are are just some ideas on how to present it, in a platter, as an appetizer or in salads. The salmon is intensely flavored, so you hardly need to add any seasonings if any.



Drained and arranged on lettuce leaves







Spread on toast






As an appetizer, with diced cucumber and avocado, with a dollop of creme fraiche or plain yogurt






With diced boiled potatoes






  • 2 pounds salmon fillets, skin and bones removed, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, cut into very thin slices (use a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup natural ketchup
  • 1 cup cold water
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt


Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add salmon and blanch, for just a minute or two. Drain the salmon thoroughly. Transfer to a wide mouth glass jar without crowding or squeezing (2 jars if you are using smaller jars. My estimate is, 2 1-quart jars total), layering it alternately with onions. In a saucepan, bring the ketchup, water, vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and salt to a boil. Pour the boiled mixture over the salmon mixture in the jar, making sure all ingredients are submerged (add a little water if necessary). Let the jar come to room temperature, then refrigerate. It will be ready in two days. Use the pickled salmon within a week after it's ready.

To serve the pickled salmon, remove the salmon with a slotted spoon, onions and all, discarding all liquid. Serve alone, with mixed greens and/or tiny boiled potatoes.

4 replies
  1. Jeffrey Ackerman
    Jeffrey Ackerman says:

    I’m a lifelong Alaskan and I have only pickled salmon one way. I am an Eskimo/Cherokee/Czech. I look forward to trying your recipe. My way consists of pint jars with lemon/ onion/ pickling spice/ salmon or halibut. I drool turning the jars in the fridge for five to seven days….twice a day.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Jeffrey, Yours is well worth trying as well. Question, when you say you turn the jars, you turn them upside down in the fridge? No risk of leaking? Bell/mason jars, I assume? I use them all the time, but never tried turning them upside down.

    • Lévana
      Lévana says:

      Jennie I certainly wouldn’t try this in a home kitchen setting. The shelf stable fish products we see in stores are made commercially, following many guidelines and regulations. The good news is, this preparation takes minutes to make.

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