Cure in sweet limoncello and lime. Sprinkle some fresh tarragon for its anise flavour. Top generously with crispy shallots for a contrast between savoury shallots and smooth succulent salmon. Finally, you must add a touch of cut chillies for heat and capers for that vinegary bite.  I am quite addicted to this. I like cured seafood. I like sashimi. I like fried shallots. I like everything about this dish. I am going to have this again tonight.

Limoncello-cured Salmon Ceviche With Crispy Shallots, Capers And Spicy Chillies

Prep: 20 minutes 
Inactive: ~30 minutes and up to 1 hour
Level: Relatively easy
Makes: ~4 as as starter or 2 as a light lunch
Oven Temperature:
Can recipe be doubled? Yes
Make ahead? No


8.4 oz (240g) sushi grade salmon/tuna (pre-sliced ones are convenient)
To cure the salmon
1 Tablespoon neutral tasting oil
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons limoncello*
4 teaspoons lime/lemon juice but lime works better
~ 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon lime/lemon zest but lime works better
~1/2 teaspoon salt**
~1/4 teaspoon sugar*
~1/8 teaspoon black pepper
To top cured salmon just before serving
~1/2 – 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
~1 and 1/2 teaspoons lime/lemon juice but lime works better
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 – 1 teaspoon tiny capers
1 small red chilli
~1/8 – 1/4 cup fresh tarragon/oregano/dill leaves
~ 4 Tablespoons fried shallots/onions***
Limoncello is a lemon liqueur with a subtle sweetness. Replace with moscato, ouzo, prosecco, vodka, mirin. Don’t drink? Replace with ~1/2 – 1 teaspoon of lime/lemon juice. If you make any substitutes, adjust sugar to taste.
** It should be just a little more salty.
*** I am partial to those from Thailand. Crispy and sweet!


Curing salmon
1. If your sushi grade salmon is not already pre-sliced into sashimi-sized slice, slice them into ~1/8″ (0.3cm) . If you like them sliced thinner, go ahead but curing time will have to be reduced -I suggest you half the curing time.
2. With a whisk, incorporate all the ingredients for curing the salmon.
3. Chose a flat vessel that can just hold all the salmon slices in one layer. Pour the half the curing mixture into it, making sure the surface is covered.
4. Lay the salmon slices on it (in a single layer) and pour the remaining curing mixture over it.

5. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate to cure for 30 minutes and up to 1 hour (for those sliced to ~1/8″ (0.3cm).
6. Allow the salmon to cure and it will turn slightly opaque but you do not want them to turn completely opaque, that would be over curing them and the salmon could breakdown into mushy pulp.

Slice chillies, herbs and measure out all other ingredients
1. In the meantime, sliced chillies finely. Herbs can be cut or torn up into whatever size you choose.
2. Prepare all remaining ingredients for topping the cured salmon.

Plating it up
1. Taste a little slice of the cured salmon. It would very likely need salt and perhaps lime, extra virgin olive oil? Keep a mental note of any seasoning adjustments required so that you know how much to season later.
2. Transfer the cured salmon (discard the citrusy mixture) onto your serving platter.
3. Top the salmon in the order below, with:
(1) ~ 1/2 – 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
(2) ~ 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lime/lemon juice
(3) Sprinkle of salt and pepper
(4) 1/2 – 1 teaspoon tiny capers
(5) sliced red chillies
(6) ~ 1/8 – 1/4 cup fresh tarragon/oregano/dill leaves
(7) 4 Tablespoons fried shallots/onions

4. Keep a bowl of fried shallots/onions on the side for your dinner guests to help themselves to. Almost everyone loves fried onions!


When deciding on herbs to add to top the salmon, choose soft-leaf delicate herbs.