Gin-cured salmon

MasterChef 2013 champion Natalie Coleman uses botanical-rich London Dry Gin from the East London Liquor Company, the supercool new distillery-come-bar in Bow Wharf, to flavour this delicious cured salmon. This dish makes a super centrepiece for the lunch table or a clever starter – especially good for feeding a big party.

Toast the peppercorns and juniper berries in a dry pan for 1-2 mins.

Crush the toasted peppercorns in a pestle and mortar. Don’t grind then to a powder, only crush them lightly.

Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except the salmon, and mix so everything is incorporated well.

On a clean work surface, lay out a sheet of clingfilm, and place the salmon on top of it. It’s best to use two lengths and overlap so they make one sheet. I like to let the cling film overhang the work surface to its easy to roll up, and you want to roll around 50cm in length.

Place the salmon fillet onto the cling film. Pat dry using kitchen paper, and spread the curing mixture over the fillet evenly. Then carefully wrap the fillet up. Once wrapped once, repeat twice more, so that the clingfilm 3 layers thick.

Place this into a roasting tin or something of similar size, and then place another roasting tin on top of the salmon to weigh this down. You can use tins/jars for added weight.

Put the cure-wrapped salmon into the fridge and leave for 2-3 days. After this time remove from fridge and unwrap, and then discard cling film and rinse under a cold tap to remove the rest of the cure. Pat dry using kitchen paper.

To serve, slice the salmon into thin slices and serve with toasted sour dough, crème fraiche, fresh dill and a couple of cornichons.


By Natalie Coleman

Serves 12


  • 1 side of salmon fillet – skin on and pin boned (1kg)
  • 300g rock salt
  • 100ml of London Dry Gin or another botanical-rich gin
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp juniper berries
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 35g dill, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • To serve
  • Crusty sour dough
  • 250ml crème fraiche
  • Cornichons, small jar
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped

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