When buying the salmon, select a piece from the head of the fish rather than the tail. An even thickness will give a more consistent result. The cured salmon will keep for a minimum of a week in the fridge.
The process of curing fish has been around for a very long time, and was originally used as a way of preserving the fish. The curing process uses salt and sugar, together with herbs and flavourings, to ‘cook’ the fish, by drawing out some of the moisture, while at the same time infusing it with salt, which is the preservative.
- 600g salmon (or ocean trout) fillet, skin-off, pin-boned
- 2 medium beetroot ( about 200g), coarsely grated
- 1/2 bunch dill, fronds picked and chopped
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 125g sea salt flakes
- 180g caster sugar
- extra dill, chopped, to serve
To give the salmon fillet an even thickness, trim off the the thin piece on one side (this is the belly) and keep it to use later – you should now have a piece around 500g – I usually freeze the off-cut for sandwiches, salad or fishcakes.
Line a shallow dish, which fits the salmon snugly, with two layers of clingwrap, leaving plenty of overhang around the dish.
Mix the salt, sugar, dill, zest, and beetroot together well.
Place half of the beetroot, sugar/salt mix in the base of the dish. Lay the fish on top, and cover with with the remaining mixture. Wrap the clingwrap tightly around the fish, pushing the cure evenly over the fish, and seal well. Place a weight on top of the dish.
Refrigerate for 8 hours, turning over halfway through.
Once cured, remove the salmon from the cure, and wipe clean with damp paper towels. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for at least a week.
To serve, sprinkle the salmon with fresh chopped dill and slice thinly.
Celery and Fennel Salad
- 1 fennel bulb, julienned, a mandolin is good for this
- 4 celery stalks, julenned
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
- 2 radishes, julienned
- 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley, finely chopped
- baby capers for garnish
For the dressing
- 100g whole-egg mayonnaise
- 2 tbs wholegrain mustard
- juice and zest 1/2 lemon large lemon, or to taste
Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, whisk together and season well with salt and pepper.
Toss gently with the salad ingredients and serve alongside the fish.