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Hot Smoked Spiced Salmon, burghul & green vegetable salad with buttermilk dressing

Recipe created by Chef Geoff Scott

Vinnies by Geoff Scott, 166 Jervois Road, Herne Bay,


There is nothing quite like the taste of hot smoked salmon.  It is easy to do and simply requires a little care, and the results will impress your family, friends and guests.  You will need a large deep fry pan or wok and a small round cake rack to fit inside it, for the salmon to sit on, and a large piece of tin foil.  The salad can be changed to suit what is available and if burghul is not available try using wild rice, couscous or quinoa.


Serves 4


For the salmon:

400gr salmon

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp fine salt

½ tsp fennel seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

 ½ cup wood chips

tin foil



Place the seeds in a frying pan and gently fry without oil, just dry, on a medium heat until the seeds begin to toast and become fragrant, they will crackle and pop.  Crush these with a mortar and pestle, then mix them with the salt and sugar.


Remove any pin bones from the salmon with a pair of tweezers or pliers.  Cut off the skin and any red blood lines.  Rub the salmon all over with the sugar and spice mix.  Place in the fridge and allow to marinate for half an hour.


Use a spoon to gently scrape off excess marinade from both sides.  Pat dry with a paper towel then place salmon on a small rack ‘presentation’ side up (this is the side that is closest to the bone, the skin side goes down).  In a large deep fry pan place a piece of tin foil down for the woodchips to sit on, this will make it easy to remove them later on.  Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of water over the woodchips (this will help prevent them from catching alight) place the wood chips in the fry pan.  next place the rack with the salmon on it over the wood chips. 


Make sure the salmon is not touching the woodchips.  Cover the salmon with tin foil to form a tight fitting lid, check to see the foil is not touching the salmon.  Cut a small 1cm square hole in the top of the lid.  Heat the fry pan on a high heat until you begin to see smoke coming out the hole, reduce the heat down to low / medium so that the woodchips do not catch fire and burn – this will produce a horrible bitter taste and must be avoided!  Low and slow is the best way to go. If you see there is no smoke coming out the top, increase the heat a little.  Continue to smoke the salmon for 15 – 20 minutes in total.


For the salad: 

1 ½ cups burghul

3 cups fish stock (or water)

½ teaspoon fine salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

½ cup sliced green beans

½ cup sugar snaps

½ cup snow peas

 ½ cup finely sliced raw asparagus

3 tablespoons walnut oil

freshly ground white pepper

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice



Place the burghul, stock, salt and oil on a pot and bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and cook for 15minutes or until burghul is cooked and tender to the bite.  The stock should be completely absorbed, if not drain off into a sieve.  More stock may be required if the burghul is not completely cooked.  Spread the burghul on a tray and allow to cool, do not wash the burghul.


Bring a pot of water to the boil, add 2 teaspoons of fine salt, blanch the green beans, sugar snaps and snow peas by cooking for 2 minutes then dropping them into a bowl of iced water.  This will stop the cooking instantly, help keep the colour and keep the vegetables crisp and firm.  Drain on paper towels then slice the beans in half, the sugar snaps and snow peas may be left whole, depending on their size.


Season the burghul with walnut oil, white pepper, lemon zest and juice.  Taste this and add a little more salt if needed.  Add the green vegetables, gently mix through and serve onto a platter.  garnish with extra picked chervil


Buttermilk Dressing:

1 cup loosely packed picked rocket leaves

125ml buttermilk

125g mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon fine salt



In a small pot of boiling salted water cook the rocket for 1 minute then refresh in a bowl of iced water.  Squeeze excess water from the rocket and chop.  Place the rocket, buttermilk, mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt into a small round container suitable for a hand held blender to fit snugly into – or use a jug blender.  Blend the dressing until smooth.  Serve drizzled over the salad or on the side.