This recipe makes a delicious canapé and a great starter, both made ahead, so a brilliant one for busy cooks over Christmas. The presentation here is definitely with Christmas in mind, but can easily be altered - maybe leave out the nori strips and just cut out some cucumber for decoration instead. We have served it on a Japanese platter, which gives it an oriental feel, but it also looks good on a simple white plate to show off the vibrant colour of the fish.
Ingredients - makes 30 approx:
250gms Fresh salmon fillet, skin on
For the cure:
75g Black treacle
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
50g Sea salt
Zest 1 lemon
1.5 tbsp Fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
Pickled cucumber, Wasabi, chillies and mint all work well.
Wash the salmon and dry with kitchen towel. Place it on a large sheet of cling film, skin side down.
Measure the treacle into a warm bowl.
Stir in the other cure ingredients.
Massage the cure into the flesh of the salmon.
Wrap the salmon tightly in the cling film and chill for 48 hours.
After 48 hours, wash the cure off the salmon and pat it dry.
Skin the salmon with a sharp knife and then cut it into small even sized cubes (1.5 x 2cm approx).
Cut some fine strips of nori and criss cross round each salmon cube, like a present.
Cut some pieces of pickled cucumber and use either as a topping for the salmon (see picture) or as a base. Drizzle some of the pickling liquor over and serve.
Quick Pickled Cucumber
1 piece of cucumber (preferably ridge) peeled, de-seeded and cut into long slices.
30g caster sugar
30ml white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 red chilli
Sprig of mint
Dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar. Cool slightly, then add the whole red chilli (or chopped for extra heat) and mint sprig.
When cool, add the cucumber and leave for a couple of hours or more.
To serve as a starter, slice the salmon, arrange on plates and decorate with pickled cucumber, watercress, some chopped mint and perhaps some dark rye bread.