130 g (42⁄3 oz/1 cup) sea salt
220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup) white sugar
4 tail-end salmon fillets, skin off (about 200 g/7 oz each)
175 g (6 oz/½ cup) honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
120 g (4¼ oz/½ cup) whole-egg mayonnaise
2 tablespoons wasabi paste
1 Crush the salt and sugar using a mortar and pestle and then spread half the mixture out evenly in a dish that will fit the salmon. Wash and dry the salmon fillets and then place onto the sugar salt cure. Cover the top of the salmon with the rest of the salt mixture and press down to coat well. Drizzle over the honey, then cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
2 Remove the salmon from the fridge and turn the fillets over. Cover again with plastic wrap, put back in the fridge and leave for another 2 hours. You will notice a lot of liquid has come out of the fillets and this is what you want. You are drawing out the water and in its place the fish is taking in the sugar, salt and honey flavours.
3 Remove the fish from the cure and rinse under cold running water—the fillets should have firmed up due to the curing process. Dry the fillets well.
4 Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the fillets (if the pan is not big enough you can cook in two batches and just keep the first batch warm in a low oven) and sear on both sides until nicely browned—you will get some caramelisation thanks to the honey. Be careful not to overcook as the fish is already cured, so you can leave it rare in the middle—if you overcook it, it will become very dry. Remove the fillets and place on a plate until everything is ready to serve.
5 To make the wasabi mayo mix the mayonnaise with a generous squeeze of wasabi paste—adjust the heat to your liking by adding more wasabi, but remember you can’t take the wasabi out if you add too much! If you do over-wasabi it you can add more mayo to dilute the heat.
Tip: Put the bok choy into the middle of the plate, drape a fillet over half of the bok choy then dollop a generous spoonful or two of the wasabi mayo over the salmon and eat!
Recipes and images from Kitchen Mojo by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books