For the salmon
- 500-600g (1lb 2oz-1lb 5oz) side of salmon, boned, with skin left on
- 1tbsp coriander seeds
- 1tbsp fennel seeds
- ½tsp black peppercorns
- 2tbsp coarse sea salt
- 1½tbsp granulated sugar
- 2tbsp vodka
- zest ½ lemon
- 150g (5oz) raw beetroot, peeled and grated (wear gloves)
- 3tbsp grated horseradish
- 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
For the cucumber salad
- 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and ribboned
- 3tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 3 sprigs dill, roughly chopped
Remove any pin bones from the salmon with fish tweezers. Line a baking sheet with clingfilm and place the fish on it, skin-side down.
Roughly grind the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar (but not too fine, as you want the spices to have some texture). Combine with the salt, sugar, vodka, lemon zest and beetroot, then add the grated horseradish and parsley. Spread the mixture over the salmon and press down. Wrap the clingfilm around and over the top of the fillet. Place another baking sheet on top and weigh it down with jars or cans. Leave in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours (the longer you leave it, the better the colour).
Unwrap the fish and scrape off the marinade. Rinse under cold running water to get rid of the salt and grains, then pat dry with kitchen paper. The salmon will freeze very well at this point. It will keep for 5 days in the fridge. If frozen, just thaw overnight in the fridge.
Make the cucumber salad. Sprinkle the cucumber with 1tsp salt and leave to sit in a sieve over a sink for 10 minutes (this will help to draw out the water). Squeeze dry, then dress with the vinegar, sugar, salt and dill, and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Serve with finely sliced pieces of salmon.
Top Tip for making Beetroot and Vodka-Cured Salmon with Pickled Cucumber Salad
When slicing the salmon, use a very sharp knife and start from the tail end, keeping it almost flat
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