Asian cured salmon with prawns, pickled salad & dill lime crème fraîche

Asian cured salmon with prawns, pickled salad & dill lime crème fraîche

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Plus soaking and curing

More effort

Serves 4 - 6

Make this cured salmon and prawn dish as a classy starter for a dinner party. It takes a few days of prep, but it’s well worth it for the flavour that you get

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: Per serving (6)

  • kcal410
  • fat30g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs13g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre1g
  • protein21g
  • salt2.7g
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  • 550g salmon fillet, skin on
  • 2 sticks lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 125g caster or granulated sugar, plus 2 tsp and another 2 tbsp
  • 150g coarse sea salt
  • 2 limes, zested, 1 juiced



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 5 tbsp Japanese rice vinegar, plus a dash
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • small bunch coriander (half of 28g pack)
  • 20g pack dill
  • 2 fresh red Thai chillies, sliced (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot)
  • 140g baby turnips, skin on



    Turnips are creamy-white with a lovely purple, red or greenish upper part where the taproot has…

  • 1 small red onion, peeled
  • 6 tbsp full-fat crème fraîche
  • 12 large cooked peeled prawns


  1. Check the fish for bones and, if needed, remove with tweezers. To make the cure, put the lemongrass, 125g sugar, the salt, lime juice, zest of 1 lime, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 garlic clove, the coriander and half of the dill, including stems, into a food processor. Blitz until the lemongrass is finely chopped, then stir in a quarter of the sliced chillies. 

  2. Cross two large pieces of cling film in a roasting tin and spoon on a third of the cure, then top with the fish. Cover the fish with the rest of the cure. Wrap tightly and leave for 36-48 hrs, then scrape off the cure, rinse the fish in cold water and pat dry. The fillet will feel firm.

  3. On the day of serving, start the other elements of the recipe. Shave the turnips into very thin slices using a mandoline, then plunge them into iced water with a dash of the vinegar. Leave for an hour, then drain well. Thinly slice the onion and mix with the turnip slices, 2 tbsp vinegar, 2 tsp sugar and a pinch of salt. Cover and steep for at least 1 hr, or chill for a few hrs.

  4. Finely chop the remaining dill leaves and stir most of them into the crème fraîche with the remaining lime zest and a little seasoning, then chill.

  5. For the dressing, stir together the remaining 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp vinegar, another quarter of the sliced chillies and the crushed garlic and leave until the sugar dissolves. 

  6. Slice the fish into approx 20 slices, taking the knife down to the skin, then easing the blade underneath each piece to remove it.

  7. When ready to serve, spoon and swoosh the dill crème fraîche down the middle of each plate, then top with overlapping salmon slices. Add 3 prawns per serving. Lift the salad from its juices and mound to one side. Scatter with a little extra dill and the remaining sliced chillies, then drizzle the dressing over the fish and prawns (or let your guests do that bit at the table).

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Comments, questions and tips

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20th Jan, 2019
Lovely recipe, made this for Christmas Day and everyone really enjoyed it! Thank you for all your help I froze the salmon before curing as suggested and it worked beautifully. Recipe looks quite long but actually it was all really straightforward.
8th Apr, 2019
I am wanting to make this but struggling to find baby turnips in my local supermarkets etc. Can you suggest an alternative to baby turnips that would work in the recipe
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Apr, 2019
Thanks for your question. We suggest using a bigger turnip as an alternative. If the slices are large, you can cut them into strips.
20th Dec, 2018
What happens to the other half of the 28g of coriander? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question. We didn't include this so have changed the recipe accordingly. You will only need half of a 28g pack or a small bunch.
17th Dec, 2018
This looks amazing - if I was to make more of the cure mixture - how long would you recommend that I cure a whole salmon for? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question. We'd suggest taking the flesh off the bone and curing it for the same length of time.
17th Nov, 2018
I really fancy making this for Christmas lunch this year, however, the fish van will be coming round on the 21st December. Could I freeze the salmon first for a couple of days then defrost and cure on the 23rd?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can freeze it first. We'd recommend defrosting in the fridge to ensure it stays as fresh as possible.
2nd Dec, 2018
Apologies for taking a while to respond, just want to say thank you for getting back to me. Going to make this for Christmas Day and I will let you know how I get on. Wish me luck!!
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Dec, 2018
Good luck! :-)
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