March 11, 2022

by Alyssa

Quick Cured Salmon

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This is the best Quick Cured Salmon with a simple salt and sugar brine to serve for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! It's soft, make-ahead and much cheaper than store-bought!

slices of cured salmon

I love cured and smoked salmon as a treat at breakfast or brunch.

But when you make your own, it doesn't have to be just for a special treat.

This simple strategy to make tender, soft, and flavorful cured salmon is incredibly easy and mostly hands-off. Here's how to make four-ingredient cured salmon – an easy way to add protein to your favorite dishes.

ingredients for cured salmon with sugar and salt


You only need four ingredients to make the easiest cured salmon:

  • Salmon. Choose a good-quality salmon that's fresh the day you buy it.
  • Water. This makes the brine for your salmon.
  • Sugar. You can use granulated or brown sugar.
  • Salt. Kosher salt is the best for curing the salmon.
collage of steps to make cured salmon in a salt water solution

How to Make Cured Salmon

The brine for salmon takes at least an hour, but the flavor will be better if you cure for four to six hours.

To prepare the salmon, remove the skin with a long, sharp knife. You can also have someone at the store do this for you.

Next, make the brine by dissolving the sugar and salt in the water. Place the salmon in a bowl and submerge it in the brine. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least an hour and up to six.

Finally, remove the salmon from the brine, pat it dry, slice, and enjoy!

slicing cured salmon

What to Eat with Cured Salmon

This is a fantastic protein topper for so many dishes! Here are some delicious ways to eat your cured salmon:

Cured salmon is also great on its own with a spritz of lemon juice and some capers.

Cured Salmon FAQs

Is cured salmon cooked?

Cured salmon is not cooked. The salt and sugar mixture is used to make the cure, preserve the salmon and make it safe to eat.

How do you know when cured salmon is done?

Your salmon is properly cured when the filet (or pieces) feel firm to the touch.

How long does cured salmon last?

Cured salmon will last for up to two weeks in the fridge if stored in an airtight container.

Is cured salmon healthy?

Yes, cured salmon is healthy. Salmon is full of healthy fats and heart-healthy omega-3s fatty acids. Cured salmon is also high in protein and low in calories, making it a very healthy option to add to your diet.

slices of cured salmon on a marble board

If you make this quick salmon recipe, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below!

How to make Quick Cured Salmon

This is the easiest and best quick cured salmon recipe with four simple ingredients for bagels, sandwiches, tostadas and more.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Curing Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 150kcal
Print Pin
slices of cured salmon
4.50 from 6 votes


  • 1 lb salmon , cut into filets
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt


  • Cut the skin off the of the salmon.
  • Place the water, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix to combine. Continue stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  • Cut the fish into thin slices and place the slices into the bowl and completely submerge them in the brine. Place the bowl in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  • Line a plate with paper towels, then remove the fish from the fridge and place the slices on the plate. Pat them dry.
  • Cover them with plastic wrap and place the plate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.


Serving: 2.66oz | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 4755mg | Potassium: 372mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

Interested in Healthy Eating? Grab our 7-Day Vegan Meal Plan!

With a week’s worth of simple and healthy meals, Eat Clean will help you see just how easy living a life full of whole foods can be. Recipe are 100% gluten-free and vegan!

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