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How to make Swedish cold poached salmon

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How to make Swedish cold poached salmon
Cold poached salmon. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food
06:59 CEST+02:00
Poached salmon is a Swedish summer classic. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

Swedes cook the salmon by pouring boiling marinade over the fish and letting it slowly cool until cold. It is normally served cold with new potatoes and dill mayonnaise, often at Midsummer, but great any day really.

Summary

Serves: 4

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking: 15 minutes

Total: 20 minutes + cooling time

Ingredients

600g (1 ¼ lb) salmon fillet

Marinade

1 ½ litres (3 pints) water

1 small onion, peeled and sliced

1 small red onion, peeled and sliced

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 unwaxed lemon, sliced

3-6 dill stalks, leaves removed

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp salt

6 white peppercorns

4 whole allspice berries

2 bay leaves

½ tsp fennel seeds, optional

1 star anise, optinonal

2 sheets of quick dissolving gelatine, optional

Method for individual portions

1. Place all the marinade ingredients in a large saucepan. Boil the marinade for five minutes. If you want to glaze individual portions, while the marinade is boiling soak the gelatine sheets into a bowl of cold water for four to five minutes and then gently squeeze the water from the gelatine and add to the hot marinade. Stir until the gelatine is dissolved.

2. Put the salmon pieces in the pan and return to the boil for one minute.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and let the fish cool slowly in the pan with the lid on.

4. When cold enough, transfer the pan to the fridge and leave to cool overnight.

Method for a whole piece

1. Pre-heat your oven to 140C.

2. Place all the marinade ingredients in a large saucepan. Boil for five minutes.

3. Optional step: while the marinade is boiling soak the gelatine sheets into a bowl of cold water for four to five minutes and then gently squeeze the water from the gelatine and add to the hot marinade. Stir until the gelatine is dissolved.

4. Lightly butter a large baking dish or roasting pan. Add the salmon, skin side up, and pour the marinade over it, ensuring that the salmon is completely covered.

5. Cook in the bottom of the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the temperature in the middle of the thickest part of the salmon reaches 50C.

6. Remove the salmon from the oven and let the fish cool slowly in the marinade.

7. When cold enough, transfer the dish to a fridge and leave to cool overnight.

8. Remove the fish from the marinade and let it drain a bit. Serve with new potatoes and a sauce of your choice (see the Swedish Food website for tips and recipes for sauces).

Tips

- For a party, a large piece of salmon looks stylish and often takes pride of place on a Swedish smörgåsbord (buffet). To make it more attractive, add some gelatine to the marinade to give the salmon a light gloss (see the optional ingredients above).

- In asparagus season, pair the salmon with new potatoes, asparagus and homemade mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce: fabulous! 

This recipe is published courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.

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