Make sure the side of salmon is clear of pin bones*. Dry the fish with a paper towel. Mix the sugar with the salt and the crushed juniper berries. If you use sea salt and courser sugar you can grind it down in a pestle and mortar adding the juniper berries a couple at a time whilst grinding.
Take your baking tray, make sure the fish van fit in there fully stretched out. Now add the sugar, salt and juniper berry mix. Spread evenly over the bottom of the baking tray, add the lime juice and gin and mix it in until everything is incorporated. Now you can add the dill and zest of lime. Take your salmon and place it skin side up in the baking tray.
Now take some cling film or baking sheet and position it over the salmon. Take your weights and place these on top of the baking tray pressing the salmon down. You do not need to exert extra force.
Now place the salmon with the weights on, in the fridge for at least 24 hours. After curing the fish for 24 hours take it out of the fridge and place it skin side down on a cutting board. With a very sharp knife carefully slice thin slices off the fish under a slight angle, the fish should release from the skin when you reach it.
To serve some fresh dill, crème fraiche with horse-radish or a simple honey mustard sauce.
If you do have pin bones, you would want to get them out. To detect them slide en press gently down the middle of the fillet with your middle and index finger from the neck side of the fish towards the tail. If you detect any stray pin bones you can get them out with some fish thongs or some sanitized plyers even your good old tweezers will do the job be careful to pull out pin bones in the direction of the grain supporting the surrounding fish with your free hand in order to not damage the fish too much.
Tip: It is very important your fish is very fresh, the mix of salt, sugar, alcohol and acids will cure the fish, though yet it is advisable only to use day fresh fish for this recipe.
Impress people: Use a bit of red beetroot juice in the curing mix it will stain the salmon a deep purple from the outside.
Ingredients for 4 – 8 servings
600 to 800 g. Fresh side of salmon skin on
75 g. Sugar
50 g. Salt
3 tbsp or 50 ml of lime/lemon juice
15 g. dill ~ 1 bunch
Zest of 1 Lime/Lemon
35 ml Gin
20 Juniper Berries crushed
1 – 2 kg in weights