Soft herb brine for fish

  • Other
  • Makes 1 litre of brine
  • 15 minutes

This herb brine recipe is ideal for seafood, as it is full of light fresh flavours that complement a whole host of different fish. As well as adding flavour, the brine seasons the fish and firms it up a little, meaning there's less chance it will fall apart during cooking. Take a look at our brining guide for more information.

First published in 2019

This is a fragrant, delicately flavoured brine that's perfectly suited to fish and seafood. Brining fish gives it a nice firm texture which helps to stop it falling apart during cooking – this is particularly helpful if you plan on smoking your fish, or want to cook it on a barbecue. Fish only needs a quick dip in brine; 15–20 minutes for a few portions or a small side are fine, or up to 30 minutes for a larger side of fish like salmon (any longer and the flesh will begin to cure). Once removed from the brine, do not add anymore salt to the fish as the brining process should mean it's perfectly seasoned.

This recipe makes 1 litre of brine. As the fish needs to be totally submerged in the solution, ensure you’re making enough to cover it before beginning, and scale the recipe up (or down) as required.




  • 1l water
  • 100g of table salt
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • kombu, 6x6cm square piece, or 5g of wakame
  • 1 handful of soft herbs, stalks attached – a mix of dill, chervil, coriander and/or parsley works well


Place the coriander seeds in a pan large enough to hold the water and toast over a medium-high heat until fragrant
Add the water, kombu and salt and bring to the boil. Stir until the salt has dissolved
Remove from the heat and add the citrus zest and herb stalks. Leave to cool completely before using
To use, submerge the fish in the brine for 15–30 minutes (depending on size), then rinse with cold water and pat dry with kitchen roll. It is now ready to cook

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