I have a thing about the jars of pickled herring sold in Ikea but I have never attempted to make my own. Little did I think salmon would be a super sub for herring (and probably appealing to more people)-which is very unimaginative of me as they are both oily fish and would, of course, react in the same manner. This pickled salmon is incredibly easy to make and, although I serve it here with a fresh crunchy salad and some lively mayo on the side, you could eat the fish on a piece of buttered rye bread garnished simply with some of the sushi ginger. I allow the fish to pickle for about five days but you can eat it after three days in its pickling brine.
- 500g skinned and pin-boned salmon fillet
- 2 tablespoons Maldon salt
- 225ml cider vinegar
- 75g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons pickling spice
- ½ red onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 5 teaspoons sushi ginger
- For the mayonnaise
- 200ml homemade mayonnaise
- Grated zest of one lime
- Juice of ½ lime
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel fronds (trimmed from the fennel bulbs -see method)
- For the salad
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 1 Pink Lady apple (it can be any apple but the pink skin looks lovely in the salad)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of ½ lime
- Put the salmon in a flat dish and sprinkle the salt evenly over the fish. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day put the vinegar, 225ml water, sugar and pickling spice in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then take the pan off the heat and leave the liquid to cool completely.
- Wash the salmon to remove the salt and pat dry. Cut into 2cm cubes. Put a layer of salmon into the bottom of a large sterilised kilner jar and cover with a few slices of onion and a teaspoon of sushi ginger. Continue to layer in this way until the all the salmon is in the kilner jar. Pour over the cooled pickling liquid. Seal and refrigerate for at least 3 days but up to 7 days.
- On the day you want to eat the salmon prepare the mayonnaise and salad. Put the mayonnaise in a bowl and stir in the lime zest and juice. Trim the fennel fronds from the bulbs and finely chop. Stir into the mayonnaise.
- Halve the fennel bulbs, remove the tough outer layer and shred on a mandoline or finely slice with a knife. Finely shred or slice the apple and mix both together with a good pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Drizzle over the olive oil and lime juice and toss everything well.
- To serve, lift the salmon out of the pickle and slice. Arrange on a plate with the salad and some mayonnaise on the side.