Smoked salmon is a delicious product, but it's also a vast category. Within the spectrum of smoked and cured salmon, you'll find at least half a dozen varieties including Nova, Western, Eastern, Lox, Gravlax, Kippered, and pastrami-style. Before salmon is smoked, it is either dry or wet cured with salt, and sometimes sugar and spices too. Once smoked (either using a hot or cold smoking process), the salmon transforms into a smooth, silky fish with a subtle salty taste.
Of course plenty of people enjoy smoked salmon on its own, but it's even better when upgraded with crème fraîché, sliced red onions, capers, and dill. Here, we're sharing 11 combinations of sometimes simple, sometimes spectacular, and always satisfactory smoked salmon recipes.
1. Smoked Salmon on Mustard-Chive and Dill Butter Toasts
Nothing looks classier than little pieces of toast with shavings of smoked salmon delicately folded on top of, in this case, a thick layer of dill and Dijon butter. You can assemble them in advance and safely leave them out at room temperature so when your guests arrive, you won't be caught scrambling to finish cooking.
2. Hot Smoked Salmon, Soba, and Asian Greens Salad
Dress up a lunch salad with a fillet of hot smoked salmon. Through the smoking process, the fillet becomes fully cooked (versus just cured) and achieves a maple-y, woodsy, and, yes, smoky flavor. You can try smoking fish yourself (we have instructions for how to do so) or pick up a pre-smoked fillet from the fish department at your local supermarket.
3. Northwest Smoked Salmon Chowder
This West Coast-inspired chowder swaps the usual bacon and clams for capers, cream cheese, hot sauce, and hot smoked salmon.
4. Pickled Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon
Dress up pickled eggs for a special occasion brunch. First, the hard-boiled eggs are pickled in a combination of beet juice and vinegar (you can make this step in advance). Once they're ready, fill them with a classic Dijon and horseradish mixture, then top each egg with a little bit of smoked salmon and chives.
5. Smoked Salmon "Everything Bagel" Pie
Inspired by a classic New York breakfast sandwich, this savory pie is made with puff pastry, which is baked and then topped with all the fixins — aka cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced tomatoes, chopped red onion, scallions, and of course, smoked salmon.
6. Corn Husk-Smoked Salmon with Grilled Corn Salsa
Salmon sweetly quick-smoked with corn husks and served over a bright salsa of tomatoes and grilled corn is the epitome of summer.
7. Smoked Salmon Mousse on Rye Toasts
This is the easiest ever way to serve smoked salmon that's elegant to boot. Simply combine smoked salmon, whipped cream cheese, crème fraîche, onion, and lemon in a food processor to form the "mousse" and then spread it on toasted slices of rye bread.
8. Baked Ricotta and Smoked Salmon Dumplings in Gyoza Skin
These are so much easier and faster to make than you might expect. All it takes is smoked salmon, ricotta, lemon zest, and wonton wrappers. Fill each wrapper with a dollop of cheese, miniature pieces of smoked salmon, and zest, and then bake them until crisp.
9. Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Caper Sauce
Nothing goes better with smoked salmon than capers, cream cheese (or crème fraîche), and red onion, all of which you'll find here in this five-minute entrée.
10. Blini with Crème Fraîche and Smoked Salmon
"A classic combo that's great for brunches, cocktail parties, or light lunches," writes recipe developer Erin Jeanne McDowell.
11. Tarragon Potato Salad with Cured Salmon and Lemon Vinaigrette
This easy recipe is great for either the main course or a side dish for a brunch. All it calls for is boiled new potatoes, spring onions, smoked or cured salmon, and a little bit of crème fraîche or sour cream.