Citrus-spiced salmon








See below for the recipe in German, siehe unten für das Rezept auf Deutsch

This is a fabulous oven-cooked salmon dish with a fragrant spice rub where the different citrus notes of orange, sumach & lime are enriched by woodsy cumin, warm cinnamon & scented pink rose petals. Minimum work for maximum flavour and the colours are equally beautiful. I bet you will fall in love with this Persiana recipe the moment you’ll grind the rose petals for the rub. I am no expert on Persian cuisine but Sabrina Ghayour’s book is one of my favourite books since I opened it and daydreamed of eating every single one of its enticing & mouth-watering pictures & recipes.

We have already had this three times and it could have been four times, if I had not foolishly decided to Nobu-Miso-Marinate the last salmon I have bought, that very pretty & expensive piece of wild, hand-caught, artisan, signature, super duper ‘loin’. You may want to skip the rant and rejoin at the beginning of the next paragraph… or: Let’s just say, I’ll reserve judgement until I try the original version with Black Cod but that was some wasted Mirin-candied salmon. To smoothly round off the whole saccharine fiasco (and adding even more sweetness), Ottolenghi let me down as well with a Japanese-ish vegetable side with a sweet sesame sauce (the name might have been a hint, more Mirin). Though, I am quite sure we’ll make up very soon. Rice was good.

Back to the good news… Continue reading

salmon fish cakes

salmon fish cakes by the james kitchen
salmon fish cakes, a photo by the james kitchen on Flickr.

Make leftovers for Fish cakes. As I said before, we always use any leftover white fish or salmon for fish cakes and you should plan an extra portion for some to be made for supper or freezing during the next 5 days. They can be easily frozen for an instant and hardly-any-work lunch supper, too and are absolutely delicious. This salmon-dill version with mustard and a little cheddar (you can leave the cheese out without any problems) which we made a few weeks ago is a great one.

Salmon-dill fish cakes
makes 4 servings

200g (7 oz) salmon, steamed or baked (best to make one extra portion of saumon en papillote for this)
about 150g (a little more than 5 oz) potatoes, mashed
chopped fresh dill (to taste)
1 tablespoon coarse Dijon mustard
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon English mustard powder (Coleman’s)
1 pinch paprika
salt & white pepper
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon plain flour
a handful of coarsely grated cheddar
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk (half of this for the fish cakes, the other half for dredging)

Carefully break the salmon into pieces, do not mash them up totally. Press the potatoes through a ricer (or use mashed potatoes) and add along with the dill, mustards, mustard powder, paprika, salt & pepper, breadcrumbs, flour, cheddar and half of the beaten egg & milk. Mix all together until combined, form little cakes about the size of small apricots and flatten them a little bit. Place on a sheet and let them rest for about 10-30 minutes in the fridge while you clear up and prepare the dredging station. Turn each fish cake in the flour, then the egg and lastly in the breadcrumbs. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the cakes for about 5 minutes over medium heat and about 2 on the other side. Serve with a crispy salad and a yoghurt-mustard dressing and more dill. Pickled gherkins or cucumbers, too.

To freeze: make the cakes up to the point where they are covered in flour and place the naked but floured cakes in a single layer on a sheet, cover with cling film (plastic/ceran wrap) and freeze individually so that they do not cling together, afterwards they can be placed in a freezer bag.

Cook from frozen: Take as many out as you need for dinner, preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F), dust the frozen cakes with a little more flour, dredge in an egg mixed with the milk (obviously you will need a new egg here) and breadcrumbs and fry these in a skillet with a little oil over medium heat for about 2 minutes on each side to a light brown colour. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment or kitchen roll (kitchen towel) to absorb some of the surplus oil and warm for 20-30 minutes, turning the cakes over once. Leaving them in a little longer if you need to is not a problem.

salmon: saumon en papillote

Happy New Year!
What a splendid time we all had and so many great meals that there’s plenty of posts awaiting and lots of fresh air & walking to do – resolutions and all that.

Sadly I am the only one in our house who loves fish & seafood with a passion, so unfortunately it is not so often on the menu. As the legend goes my husband was born with the doctor tucking into a mighty portion of fish & chips, which in my book should have had some fish-loving impact. Unfortunately it seems to have caused an adverse reaction to the fish but he can’t pass chips without splashing them with malt vinegar. Anyway, these days non-too-fishy fishes have been accepted & even liked and that is something.

This salmon is a favourite and one of the most brilliant ways of cooking any fish: thick slices resting on a bed of vegetables are steamed slowly in white wine & aromatics and thus it will be juicy and lightly fragrant. Plus, these parchment parcels look extremely pretty and can be filled with about anything to accompany the fish like sugar or snow peas. Once the parchment parcels are sealed and stashed in the oven the work is done, save for some rice to be quickly cooked and some spinach to be wilted. Tadaa!

A note about the portion size: a 200g-220g slice of salmon is enough for us two since we have lots of vegetables to go with the dinner and sometimes a starter, most people calculate 150g (about 5 oz) per person.

Make leftovers for Fish cakes: We always use any leftover white fish or salmon for fish cakes and you should plan an extra portion for some to be made during the next week + they can be frozen for an instant and no work supper, too and are absolutely delicious.

Salmon en papillote
serves two + second portion for fish cakes in the week

two 200g-220g (7-7½ oz) pieces of salmon (from the thicker middle, without skin)
1 big carrot, cut into julienne
½ leek, cut into julienne
a few dill fronds
2 thin lemon slices
salt & pepper
a generous dash white wine per parcel

a small knob of butter per parcel

Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Take a large piece of parchment paper that could be folded into a pouch containing the salmon, about the size of a sheet of paper. Put the carrot & leek juliennes onto the paper (in the lower third), season with salt & pepper, then place the salmon on top of the vegetables like a trivet, cover with the lemon slices & dill, top with a knob of butter and season again. Turn the paper over and fold the small sides a few times to form the pouch. Pour the white wine into the pouch and close the last opening, seal with a few staples.

Bake for about 20 minutes and serve en papillote to be cut open at the table. There will be a little sauce left in the paper pouches and wonderful soft leeks and carrots, the fish absolutely juicy and perfectly cooked.

salmon tartare & salmon tartare


Tartare might be considered déclassé now or is it back again? Whatever the verdict, I do not care and proudly pronounce myself a tartare lover, always have been, always will be: steak tartare, salmon, tuna, sea bass, anything; Classic, carpaccio, sashimi or ceviche what have you, bring-it-on (with toast, please). Do you remember the chopped beef surrounded by all the trimmings on lemon slices and topped with the egg yolk in a shell?

Anyway, salmon tartare is such a wonderful starter or amuse-bouche for a party – a little lighter & fresher than beef and maybe more accessible to people who have qualms with raw meat and egg unlike my Mum who will not eat raw fish though beef is totally fine. I like both versions here and often have both at the same time (so hard to decide sometimes) though if pressed, I’d say the shallot, dill & lemon combo is my favourite.

Dill seems such an underused herb if it is not particularly ingrained in your cuisine or culture (I am thinking of Skandinavian countries, Germany, Russia and Turkey, sorry if I forgot other dill-afficionados) but is for me not only a comforting taste (childhood memories of feasts in the garden with my Grandpa, cucumber salads with a sweet cream & dill sauce or herings with dill-potatoes) but these days a more unusual ingredient in herby salad mixes when a rather large amount of fronds is tumbled together with chervil and other leaves. And above all I remember a really nice soup my friend Dirk and I cooked for a party in his Russian Restaurant.


Salmon tartare & Salmon tartare
for 2-4 as a starter or 10 as amuse-bouche

A piece of absolute fresh salmon (about 200g)
one medium shallot, finely chopped
a few sprigs of dill, chopped
one lemon, zest and juice to taste
a mellow oil like a mild olive oil or a nut oil
salt & pepper

sesame oil
soy sauce
shichimi togarashi or sesame seeds and small nori flakes

Check the salmon for any bones and remove them before you slice and chop it into fine dice. Divide the salmon tartarte into two bowls, adding a little more shallot to the one which will get the dill, some lemon zest & juice, oil and salt & pepper. The salmon with a less shallot receives soy sauce, sesame oil, shichimi togarashi and maybe a little spritz of lemon juice, too. Mix and serve both with warm white toast, crisp bread, crackers or pure on a fancy china spoon.