Asian cured salmon with prawns, pickled salad & dill lime crème fraîche
This classy starter takes a few days of low-impact prep, but it’s well worth it for the flavour that you get from the salmon.
SERVES 4-6 PREP 40 mins plus soaking and curing NO COOK
550g salmon fillet, skin on
2 sticks lemongrass, roughly chopped
125g caster or granulated sugar, plus 2 tsp and another 2 tbsp 150g coarse sea salt
2 limes, zested, 1 juiced
5 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar, plus a dash
2 garlic cloves, 1 whole, 1 crushed 28g pack coriander
20g pack dill
2 fresh red Thai chillies
140g baby turnips, skin on
1 small red onion, peeled
6 tbsp full-fat crème fraîche 12 large cooked peeled prawns
1 Check the fish for bones, and if needed, remove with tweezers. To make the cure, put the lemongrass, 125g sugar, the sea salt, lime juice and zest 1 lime, 1 tbsp vinegar, whole garlic clove and half the coriander and dill, including stems, in a food processor. Blitz until the lemongrass is finely chopped, then stir in a quarter of the sliced chillies. 2 Cross two large pieces of cling film in a roasting tin and spoon on a third of the cure, then top with the fish. Cover with the rest of the cure. Wrap tightly and leave for 36-48 hrs, then scrape off the cure, rinse the fish in cold water, and pat dry. It will feel firm.
3 On the day of serving, start the other elements of the recipe. Shave the turnips into very thin slices using a mandoline, and plunge into iced water with a dash of vinegar. Leave for an hour, then drain well. Thinly slice the onion and mix with the turnip slices, 2 tbsp vinegar,
2 tsp sugar and a pinch of salt. Cover and steep for at least 1 hr, or you can chill this for a few hrs.
4 Finely chop the remaining dill leaves and stir most into the crème fraîche with the remaining lime zest and a little seasoning, then chill.
5 For the dressing, stir together the remaining 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp vinegar, another quarter of the sliced chillies and crushed garlic and leave until the sugar dissolves.
6 Slice the fish into approx 20 slices, taking the knife down to the skin, then easing the blade underneath each piece to remove it.
7 When ready to serve, spoon and swoosh the dill crème fraîche down the middle of each plate, then top with the salmon slices, overlapping. Add 2-3 prawns per serving. Lift the salad from its juices and mound to one side. Scatter with a little extra dill and the rest of the sliced chillies, then drizzle the dressing over the fish and prawns, or let your guests do that bit at the table.
GOOD TO KNOW omega-3 • gluten free
PER SERVING (6) 410 kcals • fat 30g • saturates 13g • carbs 13g • sugars 13g • fibre 1g • protein 21g • salt 2.7g