This pickled salmon, marinated simply with Asian flavors, like rice wine vinegar and fresh ginger, was served as a light starter at the pre-party at our home, preceding the exciting Opening Night Gala at the Metropolitan Opera.
For salmon to marinate evenly, choose a center cut of good quality wild salmon fillet. The marinade is delicious by itself, use whatever is left to dress a salad the next day. Parisienne scoop is one my favorite tools in the kitchen. It can be used on all sorts of vegetables and fruits, the scooped tiny little balls, like the cucumber balls I used with this recipe, are simply fun and easy to make.
By marinating the salmon in advance, thereby “slow-cooking” it, saves tons of time in the kitchen. With the razor sharp knife , slice the pickled salmon fillet very thinly against the grain and serve the slices in endive leaves or separately on the platter drizzled with delicious marinade and scattered cucumber balls on top. Easy but looks festive enough even for our opera loving friends!
2 lb. salmon fillet, skinned and pin bones removed
500 ml rice wine vinegar
50 g caster sugar
50 g sea salt
2 garlic cloves
25 g fresh ginger
1 unwaxed lemon
4 fresh mint springs
4 fresh dill springs
1 punnet salad or coriander cress (optional)
150 ml rapeseed oil
Trim any brown meat off the salmon. Rinse it and pat dry with the kitchen paper. Then place it in a dish large enough to hold it flat, and set aside. Put the vinegar in a saucepan, add the sugar and salt and gently heat until dissolved. Do not allow it to boil. Remove from the heat and grate in the garlic and ginger, then allow to cool. Zest the lemon and one of the limes and set the zest aside, then juice the lemon and all the limes.
When the vinegar solution has cooled completely, add the lemon and the lime juice and stir well to combine. Remove 75 ml of the liquid and set aside, then pour the rest over the salmon and cover the tray with the cling film. Leave to marinade in the fried for at least 48 hours. After 48 hours, remove from the fridge, take the salmon out from the liquid, and discard the liquid. Pat the fish dry with the paper towels and slice it as thinly as possible, or cut it into small cubes. Place it on the serving plate.
Using a small melon baller or Parisienne scoop, cut little balls out of the cucumber and scatter them over the salmon (you can cut them into cubes instead). Finely shred the mint and dill, then scatter them over the top along with the reserved lemon and lime zest and the salad or coriander cress, if using. Put the reserved vinegar solution in a small blender and process slowly, adding the rapeseed oil gradually until it emulsifies to make a dressing. Drizzle it over the salmon and serve.