How to cure trout with a salt slab

With lingering warm days, our meals hold the promise of fresh-as-can-be ingredients and delicate, light flavours. Do you remember Craig, the Amoleh salt guy?  We now stock his nifty salt slabs and to show us how versatile they are, Craig taught us how to cure and serve the tastiest trout on one of these pink, mineral rich blocks.

Salt slab cured trout

What you need to cure trout:

Fish of choice – we used trout but you can also experiment. Check out the SASSI list of sustainable fish.
Amoleh Salt Slab – we used the larger size.
12 hours of patience

How to cure fish on a salt slab:

1. Place the fillet of fish face down on the salt slab with the skin side face up. Leave this to cure for 12 hours in the fridge.

curing-trout

2. You can also place the fish skin side down on a plate and then press the salt slab down on the trout, this method should shave about 2 hours off the curing time. These time estimates, of course, depend on the thickness of the cut but 12 hours is based on a 1.5cm thick fillet.

curing-trout-on-a-plate

3. Once the allowed amount of time has passed, a puddle of water should have formed around your fish. This is the good-to-go, ‘cured fish’ green light you’ve been waiting for. Salt extracts moisture from the fish and because bacteria grow in moist environments, curing it with salt is a way of preserving the shelf life.

Once your trout is properly cured you can begin prepping it for serving.

Ingredients:

Cured trout
Caviar
Capers
Pea shoots or microgreens
Garlic crostini
Raw onion, sliced
Lemon wedges
Black pepper

Method:

1. To make ballotines, simply cut a side of cured trout into strips and then roll it up and wrap it in cellophane to hold it together. After a while the natural gelatin of the fish will help it hold its shape in the circular form.

ballotines

2. Next you can cut sashimi like slices from your cut of cured trout and set aside ready to plate.

trout-fillets

3. The salt slab lends itself not only as a beautiful serving surface but also as a delicate bestower of seasoning so don’t add salt to anything you’ll be plating with your cured trout.
4. Craig created a ‘no eggs mayonnaise’ emulsion to serve with the fish. You can use homemade mayo, a little wasabi or perhaps one of the AB  products that take your fancy. He placed a blob of mayonnaise to one side of the slab and then smeared it gently across with the back of a tablespoon.

mayo-emulsion

5. Begin positioning your cured trout sashimi slices to one side and the trout ballotines to the other. Then add any or all of the accompaniments that you might usually serve with smoked salmon. We used capers and caviar, a sprinkle of pea shoots (micro greenswould also work), garlic crostini, sliced onion, lemon wedges and a final grind of black pepper.

plating-cured-trout

Et voilà. Your fresh, summer seafood dish is ready to be enjoyed, with some white wine may we add.

Cured-trout-salt-slab-final

Don’t forget that the longer you leave the fish on the slab the saltier the flavour will become, so try to plate it just before serving for a subtle, salty infusion.

Check out these other articles on all things salt, as well as the variety of Amoleh salts available on Yuppiechef.