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All RecipesSeafood

Recipe from Weber's Ultimate Grilling by Jamie Purviance

Tequila-Smoked Salmon with Radish Salsa

  • People

    Serves 8 to 12

  • Prep Time

    35 mins

  • Refrigeration Time

    8 to 9 h

  • Grilling Time

    55 mins to 1:15 h

Serves 8 to 12
Prep Time
35 mins
Refrigeration Time
8 to 9 h
Grilling Time
55 mins to 1:15 h

the Ingredients

005 Tequila Smoked Salmon Hero Wgb 01 2012
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon tequila, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1 jalapeño chile pepper, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 center-cut salmon fillet (with skin), 2 to 2¼ pounds and 1¼ to 1½ inches thick, pin bones removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1 bunch radishes (12 to 16), trimmed and cut into very fine matchstick strips
  • ½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into ⅛-inch dice (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 5 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ½ to 1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (2 to 3 teaspoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Tortilla chips

Special Equipment

  • 2 large handfuls apple wood chips
This multistage process is worthwhile for turning out salmon with a silky-tender texture. Tequila and smoke give the fish fabulous flavors that work great with the slightly spicy, slightly bitter radish salsa in this stand-out appetizer. The smoked fish also makes a terrific main dish on its own.


  • 01 In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, salt, ¼ cup tequila, cilantro, jalapeño, lime zest, lemon zest, and chile powder. Place the salmon, skin side down, in a glass or ceramic baking dish just large enough to hold it.
  • 02 Remove any pin bones using a small piece of paper towel to help you grasp one end of the bone while you pull it out. Spread the sugar mixture over the salmon, covering it entirely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 7 to 8 hours.
  • 03 Rinse the salmon well under cold running water to remove the sugar mixture. Pat it dry with paper towels, then place, flesh side up, on a baking sheet. Brush the flesh with the oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon tequila. Refrigerate, uncovered, until the salmon looks lightly glazed, about 45 minutes.
  • 04 Soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes.
  • 05 Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over very low heat (200° to 250°F).
  • 06 Brush the cooking grates clean. Drain and add half of the wood chips to the grill, following manufacturer's instructions, and close the lid. When smoke appears, grill the salmon over indirect very low heat, with the lid closed, until it is firm to the touch and has a golden patina, 55 minutes to 1¼ hours. After about 30 minutes of cooking time, drain and add the remaining wood chips. Remove the salmon from the grill and let rest for 20 minutes.
  • 07 In a medium bowl combine all of the salsa ingredients and mix well. Slice or flake the cooled salmon into bite-sized pieces. Serve on tortilla chips topped with the salsa.

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