Cured Salmon

Oh man I love cured salmon. I also love just straight raw salmon sashimi. Something about the fresh, clean flavour of raw or cured salmon and soft, silky texture just gets me so excited. And then you cook it and its heavy and oily and fishy, there's a time and a place for cooked salmon-like when its hot-smoked and put into a pasta with dill, lemon and cream and that's about it!

Incase you didn't notice I prefer salmon in its natural state-not swimming in the ocean- I mean, thinly sliced on a plate with some extremely light seasoning and maybe some equally light and not overpowering accompaniment. Salmon should be enjoyed for the majestic creature it is, not cooked within an inch of its life and served with mashed potato, it needs to be treated with respect and have little if nothing at all done to it!

You will need... (for enough to do about a 10 person dinner party... OR for you to eat by yourself if your hangry)
For the cure
500gr Salmon (or Trout) fillet, pin-boned, skin on
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 Tbs sea salt
4 peppercorns (pink if you can get them)
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 sprig dill
For the marinade
4 Tbs gin, dry vermouth or vodka
1 tsp lemon zest
2 sprigs dill, picked
2 Tbs olive oil

1. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the coriander seeds and peppercorns then add the sugar and the salt. Finely chop the dill and mix in with a spoon.
2. Use a shallow, non-aluminium tray around the same size as the salmon and scatter half the salt over the base. Lay the salmon flesh side down and scatter remaining salt over the top. Wrap up well with glad wrap, then place a chopping board or another tray over the top and weigh down with bricks or cans and place in the fridge for 12 hours.
3. Remove the fish from the tray and discard any liquid. Scrape off any excess salt then wipe down with a paper towel.
4. Mix all the marinade ingredients together, then pour them into a tray. Place the fish, flesh side down in the tray. Massage the marinade into the fish then cover with glad wrap and place in the fridge for a further 18 hours.
5. Remove the fish from the fridge and place on a chopping board. The trick to super thin slices is using an extremely sharp knife and taking your time with it. Cut against the grain at a slight angle and you will have beautiful thin slices.

Serving suggestion;
Serve with lightly pickled beetroot, fresh herbs, thinly sliced spanish onion and capers or even just a wedge of lemon. A perfect accompaniment to a lovely light breakfast or lunch.


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