Smoked Salmon Rillettes Recipe


Sam Spiva, UnCruise Corporate Chef

Serving delicious meals on all of our ships is a big deal for us.

Whenever possible, our ingredients are sourced locally for freshness and regional authenticity, as well as to support the communities where we travel.

Serving sustainably sourced seafood is a priority for us at UnCruise. For over two years we’ve partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program for guidance in responsibly selecting seafood for our fleet. We are proud to be the first cruise line to become a partner.

The MBA has a rigorous and scientific approach to understanding the global seafood chain from fishing to processing. They regularly update their recommendations with the help of fisheries and aquaculture experts to ensure they incorporate the latest science and understanding of sustainability.

This plays a critical role in helping them create an assessment of a fishery or aquaculture operation, which in turn shapes their seafood recommendations.

By partnering, we pledge to serve only seafood rated a “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative.”

The research that MBA has done is extensive and helps our chefs in many ways. Primarily, their research allows us to make educated decisions that support sustainability for the population of fish in our oceans.

It also provides information on quality purveyors that we can use, which enables us to financially support those fisheries and businesses that are making the decisions to support our environment.

This research saves a lot time for our chefs as seafood concerns are ever-changing, and keeping tabs on all of these evolving issues would be nearly impossible.

Having access to the most up to date information at all times allows us to make real-time decisions to support the mission of sustainability for our food system and for the environment. It provides a way for us to go beyond just caring about a cause, and instead to make decisions that have impacts to the larger fishing and seafood fabrication industries through our ordering practices.

When these changes in sustainability occur, it often means we take a popular dish off of the menu to support something greater. We trust the ingenuity of our chefs to create equally delicious cuisine within the boundaries of ethical choices.

In honor of this partnership, we want to share one of our Alaska seafood recipes from the Safari Endeavour selected through the MBA guidelines.

The smoked salmon rillettes are a guest favorite in Alaska, and now you can make this delicious appetizer at home.


Smoked Salmon Rillettes (Serves 4)


1 pound wild Alaskan salmon, pin bone out, skinned and cut into 1 inch strips

1 TB kosher salt

Pinch black pepper

1 TB maple syrup

1 lemon, zest and juice

2 TB shallot, minced

5 oz creme fraiche

2 TB butter, melted

Salt to taste

1 loaf ciabatta bread, sliced to 1/2 inch thickness

1/4 C olive oil


20 small parsley leaves, picked

25 oregano leaves, picked

20 sprigs frisee, picked

8 leaves radicchio, cut into rings or triangles

1/2 tsp olive oil


1. Toss the salmon with salt, pepper, and maple syrup making sure to coat the salmon completely. Place in the refrigerator to cure for 1 hour.

2. After the salmon has cured, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Rinse the salmon under cool water and then dry thoroughly with paper towels.

4. Place the salmon into a container and smoke with the Breville smoking gun using apple wood chips and crushed coriander seeds. Two applications of smoke each for about 15 minutes will provide an adequate and pleasant smoke aroma and flavor to the finished dish. Alternatively, you may opt to smoke the salmon using an electric smoker or on a grill.

5. After the salmon has been smoked, drizzle a little olive oil over the top to coat the salmon and place it in the oven.

6. Cook until just cooked medium rare (120) or to your liking, approximately 25-30 minutes.

7. Once the salmon is just cooked through remove it from the oven and place in the refrigerator to cool.

8. Place the chilled salmon into a kitchen aid mixer with a paddle attachment with lemon zest, shallot, lemon juice, crème fraiche, and butter. Paddle the salmon until all the ingredients are combined and the salmon is completely flaked. Season with salt to taste. Alternatively, you can mix the rillettes by hand if you do not have a stand mixer.

9. In a sauté pan heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Toast the sliced ciabatta on each side until it is golden brown. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.

10. Assemble the dish by spooning the salmon rillettes on to the toasted ciabatta. Toss the garnishes into a bowl with the olive oil and place them on top of the salmon rillettes.

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