Hot smoked salmon with an amazing chilli salsa

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)


Serves 2   Approx time: 20   Difficulty: not too tricky


  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • a few sprigs fresh sage
  • 2 x 200 g wild or organic salmon fillets, from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, skin on
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 lime , halved
  • a few whole coriander leaves

For The Chilli Salsa

  • 1-2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2-3 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  • ½ cucumber, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 lime, juice of
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 1 small handful coriander leaves, picked and chopped
  • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil


    I'm really excited about this one. There are two processes when it comes to smoking food: 'cold smoking', where things like raw fish, meats and cheeses are put into a smoky environment with no heat source, and 'hot smoking', which has the added heat source. It gives great results. All you really need is an old biscuit tin with a lid, a wire rack that fits inside it or a bit of chicken wire and some uncoated sawdust (the type you get for putting in pets' cages). When you put the tin on your heat source, it will act like a kind of oven – don't get nervous if it seems a bit radical to you, because it's so easy. And imagine how impressed your mates will be when you tell them you've hot smoked the food yourself!

    PS A word of warning: this will make your house a bit smoky, so either open the windows to get some fresh air through, or have a go at doing it outside on your barbie.

    Get yourself a biscuit tin and place a handful or two of wood shavings into the tin, followed by your rosemary and sage sprigs. Place your wire rack in the tin, so it sits about halfway down, or bend some chicken wire to fit. Carefully pierce the lid of the tin five or six times with a screwdriver.

    Most salmon fillets come around the same size and thickness, so their cooking times are similar. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt and rub with a drizzle of olive oil. Then lay them skin side down on top of the wire (this acts like a grill rack) and put the lid on the tin. Place it on the hob, over a medium heat, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. After a couple of minutes it will start to smoke a bit.

    While the fish is cooking, mix all the salsa ingredients together – you can go as light or as heavy on the chillies as you like. When the fish is ready, turn the heat off and leave it to sit for 3 minutes before opening the tin. This will allow any residual smoke and heat to penetrate the fish. Lift the salmon fillets out and place on to individual serving plates. Spoon over some chilli salsa and sprinkle with your whole coriander leaves. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil and serve with the lime halves and the rest of the salsa in a little bowl. Lovely with some new potatoes and a green salad for lunch.

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