Beer-cured salmon? It might sound bizarre, but in the capable hands of Michelin chef Nathan Outlaw, it’s a wow-provoking combination.
“Salmon has the perfect texture and balance of oiliness for curing. I like to experiment with different cures and this combination of beer and seaweed is something I came up with for a charity dinner.
It’s always a challenge to cook fish for large numbers, so I decided not to cook it at all, but cure it instead! Fortunately it went down well. The cucumber and seaweed salad is the ideal complement.”
• 500g very fresh wild or organic farmed salmon, trimmed and skinned
For the cure:
• 100g sea salt
• 100g soft brown sugar
• 150ml strong beer, (I use Sharp’s Honey Spiced IPA)
For the cucumber and seaweed salad:
• 1 large cucumber
• 100ml olive oil
• 70ml light rapeseed oil
• 50ml white wine vinegar
• 1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons mixed seaweed flakes
• sea salt
For the salad cream:
• 2 egg yolks
• 2 teaspoons dried seaweed
• 2 teaspoons english mustard
• 2 teaspoons caster sugar
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 100ml rapeseed oil
• 150ml double cream
• 1 tablespoon dried seaweed flakes
1 To cure the salmon, lay the fish on a tray and sprinkle evenly with the salt and sugar. Turn the fish over in the cure a few times to ensure it is coated all over.
2 Drizzle evenly with the beer, then wrap the whole tray in cling film and place in the fridge to cure for 6 hours.
3 For the cucumber salad, put the oils and wine vinegar into a pan with the shallot, seaweed and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and let bubble for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
4 Meanwhile, halve the cucumber lengthways, peel, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Thinly slice the cucumber into half-moon shapes.
5 Lay the cucumber slices in a dish and pour the cooled liquor over them. Cover with cling film, pushing it down onto the surface to keep the cucumber fully submerged. Leave to stand for at least an hour.
6 To make the salad cream, whisk the egg yolks, seaweed, mustard, sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl for 1 minute, then gradually whisk in the rapeseed oil, a little at a time, until fully incorporated.
7 To finish, slowly whisk in the cream and season with salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until required.
8 When the salmon curing time is up, unwrap the fish and wash off the cure under cold running water, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Wrap the fish tightly in fresh cling film and place back in the fridge for an hour to firm up.
9 To serve, slice the cured salmon into 1 cm thick pieces and divide between 4 plates.
10 For the dressing, drain off some of the liquor from the cucumber salad into a bowl and add some of the shallots too.
11 Arrange some of the cucumber salad over the salmon and spoon on the dressing.
12 Dress the plates with salad cream and seaweed flakes; bring to room temperature before serving. Serve the rest of the salad in a bowl on the side.
Recipe courtesy of Nathan Outlaw, extracted from Everyday Seafood