Hot-smoked salmon with crab and aioli

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Mark Dodson's hot-smoked salmon recipe makes the most of prime Alaska salmon, garnishing with seasonal edible flowers, aioli and crab meat. This dish requires the use of a hot-smoker, but the results are certainly worth the effort.

First published in 2015




Hot-smoked salmon


Brine for the salmon




  • Muslin cloth
  • Hot smoker


Place the crab in the freezer for 1-2 hours to render it insensate. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and lower in the crab. As soon as the water returns to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes
Remove from the water and allow to cool. Once cold, break open the crab and remove and flake the meat, keeping the brown and white meat separate. Check thoroughly for small pieces of shell and store in the fridge until required
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Place the leftover crab shells in a bowl and mix with the tomato purée, carrot, onion, garlic and thyme. Place on a lined baking tray and into the oven to dry out for 30-45 minutes
Remove from the oven and place in a suitable container, add just enough of the light olive oil to cover and leave to infuse for at least 24 hours. Once infused, pass through a fine muslin cloth, leaving behind any sediment. Keep refrigerated until ready to use
  • light olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Place the potatoes for the aioli in the oven for 50-60 minutes until soft and tender, then remove and allow to cool slightly. While still warm, remove the skins with a knife and pass the flesh through a ricer or mouli. Weigh out 200g and set aside
Infuse the milk with saffron by combining both in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and cover with cling film. Leave to infuse for at least 1 hour
Add 200g of potato to a suitably-sized bowl, whisk in half of the milk and the garlic, then gradually whisk in the olive oil. Once the mixture becomes too thick to whisk, add the remainder of the milk and the rest of the oil. Season and set aside until required
  • 10g of garlic, crushed with a pinch salt
  • 150ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
For the brine, bring all of the ingredients to the boil in a pan, then leave to cool. Keep refrigerated until required
To prepare the salmon, place each fillet into the brine for 5 minutes
Meanwhile, light the smoker according to manufacturers instructions and once the salmon is ready, pat dry and place in the smoker. Depending on the heat and the required cooking degree, the salmon should be ready in approximately 5-7 minutes
To plate, place a circle of warm aioli across the middle of each plate and lay the fillets of salmon on top. Garnish with seasoned white crab meat, edible flowers, chervil and chives. Place a good quenelle of the crab on top of the salmon and drizzle some of the crab-infused olive oil around each dish before serving
First published in 2015

Mark Dodson speaks the language of comfort food with Shakespearean fluency, turning perfectly formed elements into down-to-earth (but heavenly) compositions.

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