How to make home-cured salmon
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves four people
Instead of giving you a recipe this week, I’m giving you instead a method for home-curing your own salmon.
If you travel north to Scandinavia, you’ll find a people whose culture is obsessed with food preservation. The tough winters call for massive ingenuity, and every home and kitchen is piled full of pickles, preserves and cured meats - once a necessity for surviving the cold, now a food culture and identity in its own right.
This home cured salmon technique is one of those life-changing things. It can’t be rushed, it’s therapeutic, it’s hugely impressive for friends and family and a great chance to show off your skills, and above all, it’s absolutely delicious.
Serve your home cured salmon with homemade bread, in salads, as a snack… however you want, as you won’t be able to get enough of it!
What you'll need:
- Four hundred grams of boneless, skinless wild salmon
- Eighty-five grams of coarse sea salt
- Eighty-five grams of caster sugar
- One tablespoon of crushed coriander seeds
- One crushed star anise
- A few chopped fresh coriander stalks
- A one-centimetre piece of root ginger, roughly chopped
- A tablespoon of sherry
Line a tray with two layers of cling film, then place your salmon on top. In a bowl, mix together the salt, the sugar, the crushed spices, coriander stalks and chopped ginger.
Scatter all of your spice and sugar mix all over the salmon, then pat it down to create a decent coating. Drizzle the sherry over the salmon, and then wrap it all tightly in the cling film.
Place another tray on top of the seasoned and wrapped salmon, and get a couple of bean tins or whatever you have to weigh it down. Stick it in the fridge, and after twenty four hours, flip the fish over and weigh it down for another twenty four. After two days, the salmon is cured and will not need any cooking.
To serve, unwrap the salmon, and wipe off the mixture. You can rinse it in some water and pat it dry, then slice it and serve it as you wish. Give it a try - you won’t regret it.
Wine pairing for Home Cured Salmon
Fish and wine is always going to a marriage made in heaven, and the aromatic qualities of this spiced, cured salmon is a joy to pair with wine.
This requires something with a delicate touch, as you aren’t going to want to interrupt or overpower the subtle qualities of those spices, or the divine flavour that cured salmon has.
I’d recommend either a dry rose wine from the Loire Valley, or for a more interesting and sprightly combination, go for a good, minerally Gruner Veltliner. With this combination, you’d happily sit through a frozen arctic winter, and it’s equally glorious on a sunny day as a picnic combo!
There you have it -- a method for home curing your salmon.
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