Salmon ceviche with vanilla, pink peppercorns and dill crème fraîche


Tom Aikens' salmon ceviche recipe is elegantly prepared with notes of vanilla, peppercorns and dill. Citrus juices and delicately balanced seasoning gently 'cook' the salmon, leaving the flesh incredibly tender and full of flavour. The trick is not to 'overcook' the fish. For other ideas look through our collection of seafood starters.

First published in 2015
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Ceviche of salmon

Dill crème fraiche


  • 75g of shallots, finely chopped
  • 50ml of olive oil
  • 5g of salt
  • 1g of black pepper, milled
  • 25g of pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 25g of caster sugar
  • 25g of honey
  • 65ml of white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 150ml of vegetable oil
  • 100ml of olive oil
  • 12ml of vanilla essence

To plate


Trim the salmon by removing the tail and belly strip so you are left with an oblong piece. This will be cut into 3 after marinating
  • 1/2 side of salmon
Mix the lemon zest, chopped dill, sugar, salt and peppers together. Sprinkle half the mixture onto a tray, making a bed the width and length of the salmon. Lay the salmon skin side down
Sprinkle the rest of the mixture on top of the fish and then cover with another flat tray. Place a weight onto the tray and leave the salmon in the fridge for 6 hours
Remove the salmon from the marinade and lightly wash. Pat dry. Cut into 3 pieces, and thinly slice 400g in total. Arrange on squares of greaseproof paper, cover tightly with cling film and chill
To make the dressing, first split the vanilla pod in half, scrape the seeds out and cut into 1cm pieces. Sweat the shallots in the olive oil until they are soft but not coloured
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 75g of shallots
  • 50ml of olive oil
Add the salt, pepper and pink peppercorns, vanilla pieces and vanilla seeds, and cook for 3-4 mins until just soft
Add the sugar, honey and white wine vinegar and reduce the mix by half until it is syrupy
  • 25g of caster sugar
  • 25g of honey
  • 65ml of white wine vinegar
Add the lemon juice, vegetable oil, olive oil and vanilla essence Bring to a simmer then take off the heat and cool as quickly as possible. Store in a jar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 150ml of vegetable oil
  • 100ml of olive oil
  • 12ml of vanilla essence
To make the dill crème fraiche, simply mix all of the ingredients together. If you have any left over after use, it makes a great addition to soups, sandwiches, savoury crepes and salads
To serve, spread some crème fraiche on the centre of each plate in a circle. Layer the 100g salmon slices on each, making sure it doesn’t look too flat
Stir the vinaigrette well, drizzle over the salmon, and season with a small amount of Maldon sea salt, and fresh milled pepper
Scatter over the crushed pink peppercorns, mixed baby cress, chopped shallots, chives, and sprigs of dill. Finish with some more dressing and a little lemon juice
First published in 2015

Tom Aikens is one of the most creative and talented chefs Britain has ever seen, with a restaurant empire to match.

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