1side of salmon (approx 700g) skin on, pin-boned
160g rock salt
50g demerara sugar
40g horseradish – fresh if possible, peeled and finely grated or otherwise jarred is fine
300g raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
50 mls vodka or plain spirits
A large bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
1 lemon
Place the salmon on a large tray, skin-side down, and spoon the rock salt evenly all over the fish – this will draw the moisture out and make it dense and firm enough to carve. Scatter over the sugar to give some sweetness and then spread the grated horseradish and beets all over the salmon so that the flesh is completely covered. Gently pat it down with your hands (you might want to put on rubber gloves to prevent your hands from getting stained). Drizzle over the schnapps, then sprinkle over all your chopped dill and a few dill flowers if you have them.

Finely grate over the zest of your lemon, cover the tray of salmon tightly with glad wrap. Pop a weight on top to help pack everything down (another tray and a few tin cans usually do the trick), then put it into the fridge for 48 hours.

After 2 days, unwrap the fish and hold the fillet down while you pour away the juices from the tray. Use your hands to push away all the toppings (this can be really messy, so again you might want to wear rubber gloves and push the toppings straight into a plastic bag). Wipe everything off and then pat the fillet dry with kitchen paper.

Skin-side down, starting at the tail end, carefully cut under the fillet with a really long sharp knife, separating the skin from the fillet. With long rocking motions, angle the knife down slightly towards the skin and carve along the length of the fillet to remove the skin. Trim off any brown bits of fish from underneath and then flip it back over. Slice what you need as thinly as you can and arrange on a board or plate for serving. Wrap the rest of the salmon fillet in cling film and it will stay happily in your fridge for 2 weeks.


Smoking fish is not only about imparting flavour it is also a form of preservation. You can pretty much smoke any type of fish although oily fish like salmon, trout and mackerel smoke with better results due to their natural oiliness and they seem to absorb flavour better.

Smoking fish is hugely satisfying especially if you have done the hunter-gatherer thing. However if like me and fish don’t seem to like your line then buying from the farmers market or fishmonger is the next best thing. It is paramount that the fish is super fresh, to check this firstly smell the fish it should not smell fishy at all. The skin should be shiny and not dry, and the flesh should have a natural sheen. If buying whole fish always check the gills they should be bright red and the eyes should be plump and glossy.

What I like about smoking fish at home is that you can experiment with the rub, marinade, type of wood chips (untreated) and of course the type of fish.


• BRINE – 1 Tbsp salt per cup of water – you will need enough brine to cover your fish. Increase recipe as required. (I usually only brine white fleshed fish like red cod or any soft fleshed fish). I leave the fish/ fillets in the brine for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

• Rinse off the brine under cold running water and pat dry the fish with paper towels.

• Make a rub or glaze to rub over the flesh of the fish – brown sugar, lemon zest and cracked pepper works well. Or perhaps try maple syrup, lemon zest and mixed peppercorns. You want enough to generously cover the fish.

• Prepare you smoker by placing wood chips on the base and filling the dish provided with white spirits. Place the fish or fillets, skin side down on the tray provided. Light the spirits and place under the smoker ensuring that it is not sitting on a flammable surface. Place the lid on; for an average fillet of salmon it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. I checked mine a few times to ensure it wasn’t over cooking.

• Remove from the smoker and serve.


I have to admit I like to cook my fillets of fish like this as it is quick, easy to prepare and quite delicious to eat.

4 – 8 fillets of fish
¼ cup flour
Handful dill, fennel or parsley, finely chopped
2 lemons
2 Tbsp capers
25g butter
2 Tbsp oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper

Place the flour in a flat dish, add sprinkle of salt and a little pepper. If using fresh herbs put a little in the flour, combine.

Heat up a large fry pan with 1 Tbsp butter and the oil. When the butter starts to froth, put the fillets into the flour and coat both sides, tap off excess and place skin side down into the hot oil. Continue with the remainder fillets and add to the pan. Do not however overcrowd the pan. When the fillets are going golden brown (2-4 minutes depending on size of fish) carefully turn them over (two forks work well). Continue cooking for another 2 minutes.

Remove the fish and place onto warm plates.

Add the remainder of the butter and allow to go frothy and turn a light golden colour it will give off a slight nutty aroma (beurrenoisette), add the juice of ½ to 1 lemon directly into the pan, swirl around, add the capers and herbs, adjust the seasoning, add a little more lemon juice if needed.

Pour over the fillets of fish and serve immediately with more lemon wedges


These fishcakes are perfect for a dinner party or a casual lunch. You don’t need to use expensive fish, red cod or something similar works particularly well.

500g white fish fillets
3 Tbsp cornflour
1 Tbsp fish sauce
½ cup fresh coriander
1 egg
1 Tbsp ready- made red curry paste
2 spring onions or snake beans, finely chopped
Oil for frying


Blend the fish in a food processor until smooth. Add the cornflour, fish sauce, egg, coriander and red curry paste. Process until combined.

Transfer the mixture into a bowl and stir in the spring onions.

Using wet hands, mould into flattish patties, about 4cm in diameter.

Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan. Cook the fish cakes (don’t overcrowd the pan) until browned on both sides. Slip them into a paper towel-lined roasting pan, keeping them warm in a moderate oven.

Serve warm with chilli dipping sauce.