Donna Hay wants you to die of salt poisoning, or My first try home-curing fish

Last time I complained about a DH recipe, it was because it was so full of oil. Not so, this time; this time, it was waaaaaaaay too salty.

To explain, I have just tried my hand at home-curing fish, using a recipe from the latest Donna Hay magazine. I’ve wanted to try curing fish for ages, but gravlax always sounded so boring — like smoked salmon for people who don’t smoke.

Then the Christmas edition of her magazine had not only a whole heap of cookies that I wanted to make, but a heap of delicious-sounding recipes for various home-cured fish. This happens with me and her mag — I’ll go for a year, flicking through it at the newsagency going “meh”, “shrug”, etc; and then suddenly, she will bring out an edition completely full of things I want to cook.

But I digress.

For the recipe I wanted to try, you had to finely slice a pink grapefruit, mix a bunch of rock salt with a heap of sugar, and then add some Campari and some pink grapefruit juice:

The pink salt's so pretty...

Then it’s just a matter of laying out some of the grapefruit slices, the salt mix and then putting the fish on top.

It was supposed to be 500 grams of sashimi-grade tuna, but 500 grams of one thing seemed boring. Plus the tuna was $85 a kilo. So I did half tuna, half trout.

Pop some more salt and more grapefruit slices on top,

And finally, wrap it all up.

I had a themed drink, of course:

Now, while my drink was great, the fish ended up waaaaaaaaay too salty. And all shrivelled (presumably because the excessive amount of salt drew out too much water).

So I rinsed and then briefly soaked the fish, then dried the pieces off with paper.

The fish was supposed to cure for 24 hours so that’s what I did; but I think it should have been more like 18 hours. I haven’t based this on anything, but that’s what I’ll try if I ever make it again (which I probably won’t, given that there were five other recipes for cured fish in there that I want to try, and how many times am I going to home-cure fish, given that my partner refuses to eat anything that comes out of the sea?).

It was a bit of a pain to slice, I have to say. I used our sharpest knife, but what are you supposed to do with that last bit of fish???

But the salad looked very pretty:

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3 Responses to Donna Hay wants you to die of salt poisoning, or My first try home-curing fish

  1. Prue says:

    Gabby has a great beetroot recipe for curing, and there is a gravadlax one in there too. It took four days, but wasn’t stupidly salty at the end.

  2. I thought I’d try DH’s beetroot one next; but it makes a kilo and a half. I might make a quarter of that and see how I go… It’s for Kingfish, what’s Gabby’s one for?

  3. Prue says:

    Salmon – I’ve made it three times, and it works a treat. I usually only make half the recipe and it is fine. She also has a gravlax one in the same book. It’s a book called Cured – and it’s darn good (but can’t remember who wrote it)

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