• Yield: 6 servings

Jacques Pépin made this dish with Francis Lam during our recent visit to Pepin's home-studio kitchen. Listen to their conversation about the dish and check out their in-depth interview about Jacques's storied career and thoughts on current food media. Also see The Splendid Table Jacques Pépin Collection for many more recipes from Jacques.

Behind-the-scenes video from Jacques Pépin's kitchen


  • One 3/4-pound piece boneless and skinless salmon fillet

  • About 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • About 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Buttered pumpernickel or rye bread

Garnishes (per serving)

  • About 1 tablespoon each: drained capers, parsley leaves, chopped red onion, chopped scallion and radishes

  • A dash of extra virgin olive oil


1. Cutting on a bias at about a 45-degree angle, remove thin slices, each weighing about 1 ounce, from the fillet. You should have twelve slices. Sprinkle each of six plates with some of the kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Be generous; the salmon needs to be salted to cure.

2. Arrange two slices of salmon in one layer (without overlap) on top of each seasoned plate. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on top, and cover the plates with plastic wrap. Set aside to cure for at least 20 minutes but as long as 1 hour.

3. At serving time, sprinkle the cured salmon slices with the garnishes. Serve with the buttered pumpernickel or rye bread.

Recipe excerpted from Jacques Pepin Celebrates. Copyright 2001 Knopf.

Jacques Pépin is a chef, cookbook author and teacher who has published 26 books and hosted 11 public television cooking series. A former columnist for The New York Times, Pépin is a contributing editor to Food & Wine magazine. In 2004 he was awarded the French Legion of Honor. He is also the first recipient of the Julia Child Award. Since 1998 he has been dean of special programs at the French Culinary Institute in New York. Pépin is a founder of the American Institute of Wine and Food.