• Spicy salmon gravadlax with porcini hollandaise, asparagus emulsion and Kale and sesame crisps

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 3 hrs + 24 hrs, to cure



    • 250g fine salt
    • 220g sugar
    • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
    • zest of 1 orange
    • 250g fresh Norwegian salmon, deboned and skin on
    • 1 large red beetroot, grated

    • 300g good quality butter
    • 6 large egg yolks
    • 20ml (4 tsp) lemon juice
    • pinch cayenne pepper
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 17g dried porcini mushrooms

    • 5ml (1 tsp) garlic, finely minced
    • ½ onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 125ml (½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
    • ½ green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) butter
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) white wine
    • 6 asparagus spears, lightly peeled and chopped
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    • 3 cups curly kale leaves, stems and core lines removed, and leaves pulled into pieces of about 3cm
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
    • 75ml (5 tbsp) black and white sesame seeds
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



    For the gravadlax, mix 250g fine salt, the sugar, red chillies and orange zest in a bowl until well incorporated. In a rectangular container, sprinkle ⅓ of the salt mixture onto the base. Place the salmon skin-side down in the salt mixture. Sprinkle the remaining salt mixture over the top of the salmon, so as to completely cover it.


    Place the grated beetroot on top of the salt mixture covering the salmon. Cover the salmon, salt and beetroot lightly with a sheet of cling film. Do not wrap and seal the entire container – just lightly cover the salmon with cling film. Using another container, weigh the mixture down by placing weights into the top container. (The object here is to apply pressure on the salmon mixture, so the flavours are forced into the salmon and the excess moisture released.) Place the salmon with the container on top of it in the fridge, 12 hours. Flip the salmon over and apply the weight again, another 12 hours in the fridge. Remove from fridge, rinse off the salt mixture, pat the salmon dry, and slice it into very thin ribbons, removing and discarding the skin.


    For the hollandaise, cut the 300g good quality butter into small cubes. Place in a small pot and heat over low heat until melted. In the meantime, drop the egg yolks into a blender. Once the butter reaches boiling point, remove from heat, turn on the blender and slowly drizzle the hot butter into the egg yolks, so they start to emulsify. Do not rush this process, as the hot butter must cook the egg yolks slowly. Once all of the butter has been incorporated in the blender, add the lemon juice while blitzing, along with the cayenne pepper, and season to taste. Pour the hollandaise into a bowl and keep in a warm but not hot spot, i.e. not on the kitchen counter in sunlight.


    For the porcini powder, pound the dried porcini mushrooms in a spice- or coffee grinder, until dust-like. Set aside until needed.


    For the asparagus emulsion, place the garlic, onion, 45ml (3 tbsp) of the olive oil, chilli and 30ml (2 tbsp) butter in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the onion is cooked. Deglaze with the white wine. Add the asparagus. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Slowly emulsify the remaining olive oil into the asparagus by pouring with a slow trickle. Season to taste and set aside until needed.


    For the kale and sesame chips, preheat the oven to 100˚C. Toss the 45ml (3 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil and the remaining ingredients together in a mixing bowl, ensuring the leaves are covered evenly by the seeds, oil and seasoning. Place in an ovenproof tray and roast in the oven until crispy but not burned, about 10 – 15 minutes. Set aside uncovered.


    To serve, arrange the salmon ribbons on a plate as desired. Create “buttons” of the asparagus emulsion around it, as with the hollandaise. Dust porcini powder over the hollandaise. Garnish with the crispy kale crisps.

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com