I love salmon. I never used to be a big fan of fish at all – I’ve greatly expanded my tastes in the past few years and now enjoy quite the range – but I’ve always loved salmon. It’s like the chicken of the water – it goes with everything, and you can basically cook it in any way possible.

I’ve always wanted to smoke or otherwise cure my own salmon, and despite the internet being awash with recipes and techniques, have never gotten round to it. However, for Christmas this year, my mum got me a Nordic cookbook – ‘Fire + Ice’ by Darra Goldstein, which features a couple of recipes for cured salmon. This was enough motivation to finally do it!


  • A side of salmon, skin on. Mine was 1kg, but you could go smaller or bigger depending on how many you want to feed
  • A couple of large bunches of dill – you want to have enough stems and leaves (roughly chopped) to cover the bottom of the dish you’ll be using, with some left over.
  • 1 cup/200g sugar
  • 1/2 cup/135g coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground pepper – the recipe called for white, I used black. Go with your preference!
  • 1 Tblspoon coriander seeds, crushed



Line the bottom of a shallow dish with about half your chopped dill. The dish should be big enough to lay your salmon out flat in (or thereabouts – I ran into issues here as you can see above!) Pop the salmon in, skin side down.

In a bowl, mix the sugar, salt, pepper, coriander seeds and rub them gently into the salmon flesh, then sprinkle the rest of your dill over.


Cover with cling film and leave in a cool room for about 8 hours, then pop in the fridge for 24 hours. Rinse of the curing mix and pat dry – it will keep for a few days after this in the fridge, and can also be frozen.

I love it thinly sliced on rye bread, feel free to have however you like. I’ve got a bit left that I’m going to try with mustard sauce, so I’ll keep you updated on how that is!


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