I had cured salmon at the Grayshott Health Regime and I was amazed with how much flavour it had, even though it hadn’t been exposed to the carcinogenic smoke that smoked salmon relies upon for flavour. It is less slimy than smoked salmon but much more firm than cooked salmon, and is a perfect complement to eggs for breakfast in the morning. When I began researching cured salmon to see what it’s all about however, I really struggled to find any recipes that would be paleo/SCD friendly. This is because most recipes use equal quantities of salt and salmon to improve the flavour. My breakthrough came when I found that the salt is the key ingredient in the curing process, not so much the sugar. Therefore I felt reassured to omit it from my own take on cured salmon.
If you can, it is best to go for wild caught salmon. The reason why wild caught salmon is better than farmed is that the levels of omega 3 are significantly higher than that in farmed fish. This is because of the wide variety of food salmon can eat in the wild is much more omega 3 rich than what is fed to farmed salmon. Farmed salmon also has higher quantities of omega 6. Whilst this is essential for our bodies, too much of this can in fact block our absorption of the active ingredients in omega 3. Make sure you look for sustainably sourced fish to help preserve our stocks! The Marine Stewardship Council has a great search engine to help find sustainable sources worldwide, and their logo is on products that have been approved as sustainably sourced.
This is good for 4 breakfasts or serves 2 as a lunch. If you can get a whole side of salmon It would look beautiful sliced and served up at a picnic table! Just double the salt mix quantities below to cover the whole side.
Takes 5 minutes, plus 1-2 days curing.
- 2 fillets of fresh wild caught cold water salmon
- 4 tbsp coarse sea salt
- zest of 2 lemons
- fronds from 5-8 stems of dill
Mix all the ingredients other than the salmon in a pestle and mortar. Crush this until it is well combined.
Pat dry the salmon fillets with kitchen roll, place into a glass dish skin side down, and coat with the salt mix. Press this into the salmon slightly.
Cover the dish with cling film and place in the fridge for 1-2 days. Check how firm the fish is after a day – if you have quite thin fillets it will not take long to firm up. On my first attempt I left it the full two days and it came out like jerky! They were very thin fillets. You are not waiting until all of the moisture has been drawn out, but just enough for it to have firmed up. Poke it with your finger to see how much resistance it has – this should be a good indicator as to what it will be like when sliced.
To serve, slice off a portion of the fish (The size will depend on if you are having breakfast or lunch, and what you are serving it with), rinse the fish of the salt cure and then slice thinly. I have this a lot for my breakfast with either scrambled eggs or half an avocado (or both!). The salmon can be stored in the fridge for a week (some say two weeks but I always get a bit nervous with fish). Enjoy!