A starter-level fish fillet curing ‘recipe’ (if I can call it that as no cooking takes place) that I use for surefire success each time. I cannot put into words how moreish and addictive this is. It will save you a fortune in buying cured or smoked salmon and will impress whoever you serve it to (if you can bare to share it). It’s so easy and can be fully customised as you gain confidence in trying different add-ins. The recipe is for two standard sized fillets so just double the curing mix for every two fillets that you prepare. When you want to incorporate extra flavour notes into the cure, try whole spices or citrus zests. You can also add alcohol such as gin or vodka. —Miranda Baxter-Russell
2 regular fillet sized pieces
Coarse sea salt or flaked sea salt
Granulated sugar (white)
Chilled salmon fillets (ideally skinned)
In This Recipe
If your fillets have the skin on, remove it using a sharp knife.
Remove dill fronds of dill from the stalk & chop finely.
Make your basic curing mix: Mix the salt, sugar and dill in a bowl.
Sprinkle half of the curing mix into the bottom of a ceramic oven dish that will comfortably fit both fillets laid out flat. Lay salmon fillets on top and turn to get a fine coating on all sides.
Sprinkle the remaining curing mix on top of the fillets and spread it out to cover the fish (use the back of a teaspoon to smooth it out).
Wrap dish in cling film and leave flat in the fridge for 20hrs. An hour or two less is totally fine but I don’t recommend any longer.
When ready to eat, drain the liquid that will have seeped into the dish from the fish (totally normal). Then rinse the fillets under the cold tap, pat dry with paper towel and eat!
You can also put the fillets back in the fridge at this point (uncovered) for 2-3hrs to dry out even more.
1. Cut into fine dice and sprinkle on scrambled eggs, or incorporate into an avocado poke.
2. Pat some more minced dill on top then slice finely against the grain. serve as you would smoked salmon, with rye toast and some Dijon-dill mustard sauce.
3. Eat straight from the fridge with a knife and fork (like I do because I can’t resist it).