Whole Salmon Glazed with Cucumber Scales

The Tanner Brothers make even a splendid Wedding buffet centre piece easy to achieve
By James Tanner
Whole Salmon Glazed with Cucumber Scales
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 12-20
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus chilling
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 x 3-5kg salmon, gutted
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 1 head of celery, trimmed
  • 2 leeks, washed and split
  • 2 large carrots
  • a handful of stalks parsley and dill
  • a small handful of black peppercorns
  • 1/2 large cucumber
  • 2 sheets leaf gelatine
  • 250 ml dry white wine

Optional garnish:

  • prawns, cooked and peeled
  • red peppers, cut into diamond shapes
  • sprigs dill


1. Place the salmon into a large round pan, curving it gently to fit. Position a smaller pan in the middle to hold the fish in place while cooking and to ensure it retains a curve. Fill the small pan with water to weight it down.

2. Roughly chop the onion, celery, leeks and carrots and add to the salmon in the pan along with the herb stalks and peppercorns.

3. Cover the fish with cold water, bring the liquid to the boil, then simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the salmon. Remove from the heat and allow the salmon to cool in the liquid (it will continue to cook for a while before cooling).

4. When completely cool, chill in the fridge. If possible, leave the salmon in the cooking pot during chilling, but if it won't fit, remove it very carefully, retaining the curve, and wrap it in cling film or place loosely in a large plastic bag until ready to finish.

5. Shortly before garnishing, soak the gelatine in water until completely soft, then squeeze away excess liquid and place in a small saucepan with the wine. Warm very gently, stirring or whisking until the gelatine has completely dissolved. Cool.

6. Remove the salmon from the fridge and carefully scrape away the skin and brown flesh.

7. Slice the cucumber very thinly, using either a mandolin or a sharp, thin bladed knife. Dip the slices in the wine gelatine mixture, and arrange in overlapping layers over both sides of the salmon to resemble fish scales.

8. Chill the salmon once more before serving. If wished, make it into a colourful centrepiece by garnishing with prawns, red pepper diamonds and dill fronds.

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