Confit salmon with chorizo, strawberries, watermelon and fennel

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It sounds crazy, but trust us – the combination of flavours works! Adam Simmonds masterfully balances the sweetness of strawberries and watermelon with the intense savouriness of delicious chorizo, which is turned into an oil used to poach delicate pieces of salmon. The salmon broth brings everything together wonderfully. There are a good few elements to this dish, but the oil, broth and garnishes can be made in advance.

First published in 2020





  • 600g of cooking chorizo, skins removed
  • 640g of grapeseed oil
  • 10g of apple cider vinegar
  • 3g of salt



Salmon stock

  • 1.5kg salmon bones and carcass, (ask your fishmonger)
  • 60g of grapeseed oil
  • 80g of carrots, cut into 2cm dice
  • 60g of celery, cut into 2cm dice
  • 300g of white wine, reduced by half
  • 700g of fish stock, best quality
  • salt

Wild rice

  • 50g of wild rice
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying


  • 500g of watermelon, rind removed and sliced into 1cm-thick strips
  • icing sugar, for dusting

To garnish


The day before you plan to serve, make the chorizo oil. Place the skinned chorizo in a large saucepan and add 20g of the grapeseed oil. Fry gently until the chorizo releases its oil and starts to lightly colour, then pour in the rest of the oil and bring to 65°C. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse overnight
The next day, strain the chorizo oil. Place the vinegar and salt in a bowl and gradually whisk in 100g of the chorizo oil to create a dressing (reserve the rest of the oil to cook the salmon). Set aside
  • 10g of apple cider vinegar
  • 3g of salt
For the fennel, remove the first few outer layers and set aside to use in the stock (you will need 60g of fennel trimmings for the stock in total). Cut the green fronds off the fennel and set aside. Very finely slice the remaining fennel with a mandoline or a very sharp knife, then finely chop the fennel fronds and mix both together
Place the water and salt in a saucepan and gently heat to 70°C until the salt dissolves. Place the sliced fennel and fronds into the brine, remove from the heat and leave to cool. Place in the fridge for 2 hours
  • 500ml of water
  • 50g of salt
For the salmon, mix the sugar, salt, lemon zest, dill and pepper together and rub all over the salmon fillet. Cover and leave to cure in the fridge for 30 minutes
Once the salmon has been curing for 30 minutes, wash off the cure and then cut into 4 equal portions. Set aside
Clean the salmon bones and carcasses to make sure there isn’t any flesh left, then give everything a good wash, removing the gills or eyes if needed. Dry thoroughly, then set aside
Place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a quarter of the oil. Add the carrot, 60g of the reserved fennel trimmings and the celery, and fry without colouring for 5 minutes. Remove the veg and set aside, then place the pan back over the heat. Add the rest of the oil and fry the salmon carcasses until golden, then drain and set aside
  • 60g of grapeseed oil
  • 80g of carrots, cut into 2cm dice
  • 60g of celery, cut into 2cm dice
Place the vegetables and salmon carcasses into a large stockpot along with the wine and fish stock. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 45 minutes, ensuring it doesn’t boil. Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes, then pass through a muslin cloth into a clean saucepan, leaving you with a clear liquid
  • 300g of white wine, reduced by half
  • 700g of fish stock, best quality
Gently reduce the stock slightly until you’re happy with the flavour – if it goes cloudy you can whisk in a little beaten egg white. Season to taste and then set aside to reheat later
To make the puffed rice, pour a generous amount of oil in a deep pan and heat to 200°C. Add the rice and cook for around 1 minute until the grains puff up, then drain and season lightly. Keep in an airtight container until ready to use
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 50g of wild rice
Dust the watermelon slices in the icing sugar. If you have a vacuum sealer, seal the slices in a vacuum bag to compress them. If not, wrap in cling film and set aside for 30 minutes to macerate
  • 500g of watermelon, rind removed and sliced into 1cm-thick strips
  • icing sugar, for dusting
You now have all the elements ready to finish the dish. Place the remaining reserved chorizo oil in a large saucepan and warm to 80°C, then lower the cured salmon portions into it and gently cook for 18 minutes (although the thickness of the salmon may mean you need slightly less or more time). You will know when the salmon is cooked as it will gradually turn a light pink opaque colour
While the salmon cooks, gently reheat the stock. Cut the watermelon into 1cm cubes and drain the fennel from the brine. Combine the two together, along with the fried chorizo. Dress with the chorizo dressing and divide between 4 bowls
  • 20g of chorizo, diced and fried until crisp
Drain the cooked salmon and place a fillet on top of each bowl. Pour the salmon stock into the base of each bowl, then drizzle some of the leftover chorizo oil into the liquid
Arrange the slices of radish and strawberry on top of the dish, then scatter some puffed rice over the top. Finish with the edible flowers, season with a little salt and lemon juice and serve

Beneath the surface of Adam Simmond’s dishes is highly original, thoughtful cooking.

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