Tomatin Whisky and Tonic Cured Salmon

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 24 hours
Cook Time: approx 20 mins


  • 1 kg Salmon skinned and trimmed
  • 30 coriander seeds
  • 20 juniper berries
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 2 lemons zested
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • 375g flaky sea salt
  • 100g sugar
  • 75 ml Tomatin Legacy malt

For Pickled Lemons

  • 165 ml water
  • 125 ml chardonnay vinegar
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 2 lemons

For Tonic Gel

  • 225 ml fever-tree tonic water
  • 2 tbsp agar agar
  • 50 ml water
  • Pinch of salt

For Dill Mayonnaise

  • Half a bunch of dill
  • 250 ml rapeseed oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 20 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

To Serve

  • Diced cucumber, skin and seeds removed
  • Dill sprigs
  • Soda bread

Cooking Method

  1. Pickled lemons Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar then add the water. Wash and dry your lemons then cut as thinly as possible discarding the pips. Add the slices to the vinegar solution, cover and leave for 24 hours.
  2. Curing the salmon In a dry pan over a medium heat toast the coriander seeds, juniper berries and the black peppercorns. Once the aromatics are released pour in to a pestle and mortar along with the lemon zest, dill and 100g of flaky sea salt and grind to a coarse consistency. Then combine the rest of the salt, whisky and sugar and mix with a spoon. Place the salmon in a tray and cover the salmon with the curing mix and leave in the fridge for 10 hours. A wee note, the curing process will release a lot of liquid from the salmon so using a tray with high sides will prevent the liquid from pouring over while in the fridge.
  3. Tonic gel In a blender combine 100g of the pickled lemon, 100ml of the pickling liquor and the water and blend till smooth. Place the puree, agar agar and sugar in a pan and heat without stirring until it starts to boil. Bring back to a simmer stirring occasionally until the agar agar flakes fully dissolve, about 5-10 minutes. Pour the tonic gel on to a tray lined with cling film and place into fridge to set. Once the tonic gel is set transfer to a blender and blend till a smooth puree
  4. Dill mayonnaise In a blender blitz the dill and oil together till smooth the pass through a fine sieve. Whisk together the egg yolk, vinegar and mustard then slowly add the dill oil as you whisk until you have a nice thick mayonnaise consistency. Add seasoning to desired taste.
  5. To serve Remove the curing mix from the salmon by placing under a running cold water tap then pat dry with kitchen paper. You will see the texture of the salmon has change to a firmer state as all the liquid has been drawn out of the salmon but the flavours of the curing mix has been added.
  6. Cut the salmon into 1cm dice. Please note that the edges of the salmon will be slightly saltier than the rest of the fish.
  7. Use a metal ring as a mould place in the centre of a plate and start to fill with the diced salmon, diced cucumber, dots of dill mayonnaise and tonic gel. Sprinkle a little of the fresh dill on top and serve with some soda bread and washed down with a lovely Toma’tin and Tonic from the Tomatin Distillery cocktail collection.


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