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Beetroot cured salmon

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I love the purple edging to the pink salmon slivers that the beetroot in this recipe gives.  I love salmon, my favorite is the sashimi you can get at Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, Lake Pukaki Visitors Centre. So fresh, so perfect, needs nothing!  However salt cured is another favorite and I can happily nibble my way through it all evening long.  This is simple to do and beautiful to serve.  You can make a small piece or a whole side.  The curing times are a guideline if it is a very thin piece make it less,very think make it longer.    

1 Side of salmon,

Bunch of wild fennel (no wild near you? shop will do),  

2 table spoons fennel seeds,

zest of two lemons,

2 beetroots

1/4 cup of brown sugar,

1 and a bit cups kosha salt

You will also need a non reactive tray large enough for your salmon. (If you haven't got one use two lengths of cling film stretched out on the counter top slightly over lapping),  Cling film.  A chopping board and a couple of food cans (or other weights)

If not already done, remove pin bones from the salmon.  tweezers do a good job.

Sprinkle salt over your tray, simply lay your salmon down on top.

Now gentle massage more salt into the pink flesh until all the exposed flesh is done.

Zest the lemons over the salmon.

Toast the fennel seeds and pour into a pestle and morter, add a cup of salt and bash up together, 

finely chop the fennel and add to the salt mix

Grate the beetroot.  Gather handfuls and squeeze, letting the juices run all over the salmon, flushing it purple

Add the squeezed beetroot to the salt mix and spread it all over the salmon.

Cover with cling film, place board on top, tins on top and pop it in the fridge.  Leave for 48 hours (24 if skinny whole side might need 3 days)

(If using clingfilm instead of a tray place another length of cling film over the top and wrap up the salmon)

After its time, remove from the fridge, wipe off all the salt mix and give a quick rinse in clean cold water.

Now slice eat and try not to go MMMMMmmmmm.

(NB if you leave it in the cure too long and it is now too salty clean out your tray and fill it with cold water, submerge the whole bit of salmon for 10 mins, this will reduce the saltiness)

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