Miguel Ravago, one of the Fonda San Miguel founders, was served this dish in the Mexico City home of Guadelupe Rivera Marin, the daughter of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Miguel was so impressed with the taste of salmon that he asked Guadelupe’s permission to recreate the recipe for the restaurant in Austin. The recipe was published in the Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years of Food and Art cookbook.

Tequila-Cured Salmon
Tequila-Cured Salmon

The salmon is cured for 24 hours, thinly sliced, and rolled into rosettes. It can be served on crispy tostadas or toasted bread slices with chives flavored soft cheese, pimentos, red onions, and lime zest.

Tequila-Cured Salmon Appetizers
Tequila-Cured Salmon Appetizers

Tequila-Cured Salmon

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time1 d 15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: fish, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, recipe, seafood, tequila
Servings: 8 people


to cure salmon

  • 8 oz salmon sushi grade
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp tequila reposado
  • 1 tbsp cilantro fresh, chopped

to assemble tequila-cured salmon tostadas

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tsp chives minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 8 slices red onion
  • 8 slices cherry tomato
  • 8 tostadas corn


to cure salmon

  • Mix salt and chopped cilantro and divide. Spread one half of it on the bottom of a non-reactive container.
  • Place skinned and carefully de-boned salmon fillet on top. Sprinkle it with the rest of salt and cilantro mix.
  • Add tequila. The original recipe suggests silver tequila, but since tequila adds its flavor to the fish, reposado or anejo are even better.
  • Seal the container and marinate salmon for 12 hours, flip it, and marinate for another 12 hours.
  • Remove cured salmon from the marinade, clean, and pat it dry. Store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to two weeks in a covered container.

to assemble tequila-cured salmon tostadas

  • Combine cream cheese with minced chives.
  • Prepare garnishes: quarter cherry tomatoes, slice red onions, zest a lemon.
  • Fry corn tostadas or make bread toasts and keep them in an airtight container.
  • To assemble tequila-cured salmon tostadas, spread about 1 tsp of chives-flavored soft cheese on each tostada, place a roll of thinly sliced salmon on it, garnish with toppings.


Tequila-Cured Salmon
Tequila-Cured Salmon
To streamline the assembly of the appetizers, you can make some preparations in advance. Slice and vacuum pack salmon fillet to thin (1 oz) portions. Fry corn tostadas or make bread toasts and keep them in an airtight container. Make chive-flavored soft cheese and prepare garnishes the day before serving.
Cream cheese can be substituted with Neufchatel or mild fresh goat cheese. Try to flavor the soft cheese with fresh tarragon or dill.
For the garnishing, I listed fresh cherry tomatoes because they are the easiest to find. The original recipe uses pimentos. Any mild marinated or pickled red peppers will decorate these appetizers successfully.
Tequila-Cured Salmon Appetizers