Gin and Juniper Cured Salmon

Instead of smoked salmon as a starter, try curing your own raw fish with Diana Henry's recipe, served with an apple and fennel cream
By Diana Henry
Gin and Juniper Cured Salmon
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 1-6 days curing time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg salmon, in 2 halves, filleted but skin left on
  • 8 tbsp gin
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 50 g sea salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fronds of fennel
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • 3/4 tbsp juniper berries, chopped
  • buttered rye or pumpernickel, to serve

For the fennel cream

  • 2 small heads fennel, cut into fine strips
  • 2 small tart apples, cored and cut into strips
  • 300 ml soured cream
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 5 tsp grain mustard
  • squeeze lemon juice

Method

1. Run your hand over the salmon flesh to make sure there are no little bones in it. If there are, remove with tweezers. Spread out a piece of foil big enough to wrap around the salmon.

2. Rub gin all over the 2 pieces of salmon and set 1 piece of it on the foil, skin side down. Pour a little more gin over the fleshy side of the salmon.

3. Mix together the sugar, salt, pepper, fennel, dill and juniper and press on top of the salmon. Put the other piece on top, skin side up, and sprinkle a little more gin on top. Fold the foil around to make a parcel.

4. Set it on a wire rack and put this on a platter or a roasting tin that can catch the liquid as it leaches out of the salmon. Put a weight such as a chopping board on top and put it in the fridge. Turn the salmon from time to time while it's curing. This can be left from 1 - 6 days.

5. When cured, unwrap and scrape the salt mix off the salmon. Cut the salmon horizontally leaving the skin behind.

6. For the fennel cream: mix the fennel, apples, sour cream, sugar, mustard and lemon juice together in a bowl. Keep in the fridge until ready to use. Serve the salmon with the fennel cream and buttered rye or pumpernickel.

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