I guess that around this time of year you are either;
A) Visiting relatives or friends houses for lunch or dinner, 😆 or
B) People are coming around to your home, and you are preparing the food. 😯
One great appetizer or cold buffet favourite is Smoked or Marinated Salmon. Because we wouldn’t want to be responsible for you burning your kitchen or having your house filled with smoke, we are going to share our recipe for Marinated Salmon.
The Scandinavians have been curing Salmon since the Middle Ages. The dish has many names, the best known being Gravlax (though those from Norway, Iceland or Finland could disagree!). 😉
These recipes call for 4 main ingredients, which are Salmon, Salt, Sugar and Dill.
It is very easy to make, all you need is patience. 😆
We make ours using Coriander Leaves, and sometimes we add shredded Lime Leaves and Lemongrass. Below is our recipe for Coriander Marinated Whole Salmon.
You will need a cleaned whole Salmon, head removed, cut in to two fillets and all bones removed (if you don’t have time, ask your fishmonger to do this for you). You don’t have to have the scales removed.
In a Pestle and Mortar pound together 3 Star Anise, about a tablespoon of Black Peppercorns, 2 tablespoons of Coriander Seeds, 10-12 Juniper Berries, 2 Bay Leaves and a pinch of 5 Spice Powder.
In a bowl, mix together ¾ Cup of Maldon Salt and 1 Cup of Sugar.
Finely chop some Coriander Leaves and Stems, the more the better.
Place some Cling Film, large enough to fit the Salmon on a work surface.
Mix the pounded spices with the salt and sugar mix, sprinkle some of this and some of the Coriander Leaves on to the film.
Lay one Salmon fillet, skin side down on to the film. Cover this with some the chopped Coriander.
Cover the fillet with the rest of the Spices, Salt and Sugar mix.
Make sure that you cover as much as the surface area as possible.
Place the other fillet on top, head to tail.
Gather up the Cling Film and wrap the Salmon “Sandwich” tightly.
You will now need a suitably sized container to store the fish in the fridge for 3 days. What will happen during this time is that moisture will be drawn out of the fish, mix with the dry marinade and turn that in to a sort of syrupy brine. You should turn over the fish every morning to distribute the thick liquid. Some recipes tell you to weigh the fish down, but if you have wrapped it firmly in the film you don’t have to.
After three days, remove the fish from the film, scrape off the remaining bits of the marinade, (some recipes tell you to wash the fillet under cold running water, but what is the point of that?) and slice as you would a Smoked Salmon.
Re-wrapped and kept in the fridge, the Salmon can be kept up to a week, or frozen for later use (make sure to defrost it in slowly in the fridge).
If you prefer a more salty flavour, just decrease the amount of sugar used.