You fished, hooked, played, landed, and filleted the salmon of a lifetime – now how to best cook it, befitting the battle it gave you? One thing is indisputable – salmon is an incredibly versatile fish. It tastes great whether grilled, roasted, baked, smoked, cured, fried, or raw in sushi. After living in the great Northwest for 17 years I thought I had tried it all, and then came pastrami.
Pastrami today is usually associated with deli beef, but dates back to the Ottoman Turks, who dried and salt-preserved beef, goat, or mutton, then rubbed it with spices for flavor. It found its way to New York City Jewish delis from Europe, and the rest is history. Both savory and sweet, Pastrami’s dominant flavors come from molasses, cayenne, coriander, mustard, paprika, and pepper. Recipes vary widely in the number of ingredients, but most are relatively easy to make.
You might have noticed by now that I’m not recommending a specific recipe, rather am providing links to several options. This is because not only is it easy for you to find recipes online, but also everyone has their favorite style. For example, some people love lox style, whereas other really prefer smoked, and most stand by fully cooked instead of cured for the texture and taste. Pastrami applies to all of these, so make whatever style you like to your heart’s content!
[I happen to like the TasteOfNovaScotia.com cured recipe for how good it tastes and cured texture, relative to the number of ingredients and effort required.]
Regardless of which recipe you make, if you enjoy a sweet and savory mix of rich flavors and spices, made with your favorite type of salmon in your favorite preparation style, pastrami will be a hit.