Gin, dill and lemon zest cured salmon

Gin, dill and lemon zest cured salmon

Dig In!
Mark Roper

Curing doesn’t take as long as you would expect and it’s a simple, healthy way to eat fish. Instead of just using lemon to cure the fish, this recipe uses gin to take it to the next level. The flavour has a slight suggestion of gin and tonic.


Quantity Ingredient
2 bunches dill
500g fine salt
500g caster sugar
125ml gin
10 juniper berries, lightly crushed
10 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
5 limes, zested
5 lemons, zested
1 side salmon (around 1.4 kg), pin-boned


  1. Chop three-quarters of the dill finely and combine with the salt, sugar, gin, juniper berries, peppercorns, fennel seeds, lime zest and lemon zest in a bowl.
  2. Line a large baking tray with foil. Place 2 sheets of plastic wrap over the foil, then spread half the curing mixture over the plastic wrap. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the mixture, then top with the remaining curing mix, ensuring there is no exposed flesh. Place 2 more pieces of plastic wrap over the salmon and tightly secure them with the pieces underneath the fish. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator to cure for 24 hours. This is a full cure, so the fish will be cured the whole way through.
  3. Once the fish is cured, remove it from the refrigerator and rinse off the curing mixture under cold water.
  4. Roughly chop the remaining dill and sprinkle it over the fish.
  5. Cut across the fish to make slices as thin as possible – just before you hit the skin, turn the knife away from the skin to remove a piece. This will ensure that the fat and darker flesh next to the skin are left behind.

Brent’s tip:

  • Just be careful not to overcure the fish. If it spends too much time in the curing mixture, it will turn into a stiff surfboard.
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