Home-cured salmon



Serves 8-16


For the salmon:

  • 1 side of salmon, skin on, cut in half
  • 50g Maldon sea salt
  • 50g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, dry roasted and crushed to a powder in a pestle and mortar
  • 2 tablespoons dill, chopped


For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 48 hours
Total time: 48 hours and 20 minutes!

Home-cured salmon

Cured salmon used to be a staple on our menu on Colonsay in the Herbrides. It’s simple to make (start making it 48 hours before you want to eat it), and it will last for up to 5 days in the fridge once it is ready to eat. I usually make it when I am craving smoked salmon and gawp at the price in the supermarkets! A side of salmon initially might seem expensive but it goes a very long way. If you enjoy salmon, this is a real treat to make. Keep it in the fridge and keep picking away at it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Mix together the salt, sugar, lemon and lime zest and crushed coriander seeds to make the rub.

Cut the salmon in half. Score the skin of the salmon gently 2-3 times so that the rub permeates through to the flesh.

Lie out a piece of clingfilm large enough to wrap the salmon in. Take one half of salmon and rub some of the salt mixture into the cuts you’ve made in the skin. Lie it skin-side down on to the clingfilm.

Rub two thirds of the salt mixture over the flesh of the salmon, including the ends. Lie the second half of salmon on top, flesh side down so that both the flesh sides are in the centre and the skin sides are facing outwards. Rub the remaining mixture into the skin at the top of your parcel.

Wrap securely in clingfilm, creating a tight parcel. All ends need to be sealed as the salt and sugar will dissolve and create a juice and you don’t want to escape your parcel.

Place on a rimmed plate (to catch the inevitable sneaky juices). Put in the fridge for 48 hours, turning every 12 hours. Once it is ready, carefully unwrap the parcel and rinse the salmon well under cold water.

Pat dry with some kitchen towel and sprinkle over the dill. Slice with a carving knife, leaving the skin behind.

To make the sauce, mix together the ingredients and taste for seasoning.

Serve with salad and avocado for a lovely lunch, light dinner or as a starter with friends.



If you love beetroot or all things purple, grate a peeled beetroot between the salted sides and watch the magic happen!”

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