A wonderful change from smoked salmon, this cured salmon is finished off with a crust that reminds us of the best NYC deli pastrami.  We love it served on top of crisp golden potato latkes with a dollop of crème fraiche to finish.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (7 votes)

This recipe first appeared in Monday Morning Cooking Club’s second book, The Feast Goes On.


Salmon curing mix

  • 1½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 300 g skinned sashimi grade salmon, pin-boned

Pastrami crust

  • 1½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1½ tsp coriander seeds

Potato laktes

  • 2 Desiree potatoes, about 300 g, peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 250 ml (1 cup) oil, for frying
  • salt and black pepper
  • sour cream, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 48 hours

This recipe needs to be started 2 days in advance.

  1. To cure the salmon, coarsely crush the peppercorns and coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor. Place with the salt and sugar in a small bowl and mix until well combined. Rub this mixture all over salmon and transfer to a ceramic or other non-reactive dish. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 24 hours. There will be a lot of liquid in the dish which you do not need to remove. Turn the salmon over and return to the fridge for another 24 hours.
  2. Remove the salmon from the fridge and drain away any liquid. Use a dry pastry brush and paper towel to brush off any excess curing mixture.
  3. For the pastrami crust, use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to crush the peppercorns, mustard seeds and coriander seeds together. Press the spice mixture onto both sides of the salmon fillet to form a thick crust. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to slice. To serve, slice the salmon thinly on an angle.
  4. For latkes, peel and grate the potatoes. Place in a colander and squeeze the grated potato with your hands to remove any liquid. Tip the potato into a large bowl. Add the eggs and flour, then season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  5. Add enough oil to a large frying pan over medium heat to reach a depth of about 5 mm-1 cm. When the oil is hot, carefully add teaspoons of the potato mixture to make small round potato cakes. Flatten them slightly, then fry for a few minutes on each side or until deep golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Serve the potato laktes hot or at room temperature, topped with salmon pastrami and sour cream.



Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.