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MasterClass - Cured Marlborough Salmon, Mainland butternut Squash, Pickled cucumber and Soy Toasted Sesame Seeds

Masterchef New Zealand on TV ONE and TVNZ Ondemand

Cured Marlborough Salmon, Mainland butternut Squash, Pickled cucumber and Soy Toasted Sesame Seeds

Recipe by Josh Emett

Cured Salmon
1 side of Marlborough Salmon, skin on, pin boned
Zest of 1 lime
Zest of 1 lemon
Rock salt

Butternut Squash
100g Mainland butter
1 buttercup squash, peeled, three quarters diced, one quarter left whole
100ml Anchor cream

Pickled Cucumber
100ml chardonnay vinegar
50g white sugar
100ml water
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
1 small red chilli, finely diced
Chives, finely chopped

Soy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
Light soy sauce

Snow pea tendrils

1. Preheat the oven to 130C.

2.To cure the salmon, combine the lemon zest and lime zest with enough rock salt to coat the salmon. Cover the salmon in the salt mixture and allow to cure for 1 hour. Rinse the salt off in cold water and pat the salmon dry.

3. To prepare the buttercup, slice 8 thin slices off the whole piece for pickling. Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add the Mainland butter. Sweat the chopped buttercup without colouring until soft. Add a small amount of water, cook a little further, then transfer the buttercup to a food processor. Warm the Anchor cream, add to the blender and blend until smooth.

4. To make the pickling solution, place the vinegar, sugar and water in a small saucepan and just bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cool then chill. Add half of the pickling solution to the cucumber, chilli and chives and add the other half to the pumpkin slices up to 2 hours before serving.

5. Heat a small frying pan over medium high heat and add the pumpkin seeds. Toast until evenly coloured and deglaze the pan with a little soy sauce. Remove from the pan and place on baking paper.

6. Slice the salmon into natural shaped portions, rub with olive oil and bake for 8 minutes.

7. To serve, top the baked salmon with soy glazed pumpkin seeds and place with the Mainland butternut puree on a serving plate. Top with snow pea tendrils.  

1. Cure the salmon for 1 hour for a medium sized piece of salmon
2. Use good rock salt with flavour
3. Rub the salmon with Lupi olive oil before baking so the outside does not dry out.
4. Bake slowly (120C - 130C) to retain moisture and for best texture.
5. Treat the salmon very delicately once cooked as it will be very fragile.