Friday, December 9, 2011

Cured salmon, champagne poached oysters, crayfish and cucumber

Garth Stroebel and his team at the SA Chefs Academy hosted me for a lesson in cooking salmon earlier this year. It was so much fun to learn new ways of preparing fish at this beautiful and inspired cooking school in Cape Town. 

In an attempt at finding some new kitchen inspiration for the holiday season, I have managed to coax a festive salmon recipe out of them. This time chef has combined salted salmon with poached oysters, crayfish tails and cucumber. With a flavour combination of soy, ginger, coriander and black pepper, this salmon recipe is fairly simple to prepare and bound to impress, no matter what the occasion. 

Exotic ingredients such as black and red caviar, enoki mushrooms, mirin and krill oil are well worth celebrating all on its own and can be an adventure to find. The recipe below is meant to be an inspiration; take from it and let your chef's creativity out this festive season. Bon appetit!


Slightly salted salmon and cucumber with soy, ginger, coriander and black pepper

Cured salmon and other seafood, served with an Asian style dressing and topped with caviar, chives and dill.


fillets of salmon
crayfish tail
black caviar
red caviar
enoki mushrooms
shrimps in brine 
cherry tomatoes
English cucumber
chive leaf

Soy, ginger, coriander and chilli dressing:

soy sauce
pickled ginger
rice wine vinegar
fish stock
chopped coriander 
cracked black lemon pepper
krill oil

Cure for the salmon:



To cure the fish, lie the salmon in equal quantities of salt and sugar for about two hours. Poach the crayfish tails in boiling water and place immediately in ice water to stop the cooking process. Peel and retain the shells. Remove the oysters from their shells and slightly poach in white wine or champagne. Place in a tray and allow to cool in the fridge. Remove the peel from the cucumber and cut into 2 x 2cm squares. Wash the salmon and dry it.  It should be bright in colour and nice and firm by now. Cut the salmon into 2 x 2cm squares.

To make the dressing:

Combine all the ingredients and add finely chopped red chilli.  Boil over medium heat until the salt has dissolved.  Place in a tray and allow to cool in the fridge.  When this is cool, ladle over the seafood components and  allow to steep for approximately one hour. Blanche the asparagus, enoki mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Allow to steep in the same brine.

For presentation:

Remove all the seafood from the brine. Arrange seafood, cucumber, mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes attractively and garnish with pickled ginger and a spoon of both red and black caviar, decorate with chives and dill.

Recipe courtesy of the SA Chefs Academy in Cape Town.

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