2 tbsp sake
1/2 side of wild trout (the wider side closest to the head), about 800-900g
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
140g super fine castor sugar
70g course sea slat
bunch fresh herbs (mint or shiso leaves)
Trout is an excellent alternative to salmon. It has a beautifully deep pink colour and fine slim lines for a firm fish. In this recipe it can be cured for a few hours for a gravadlax effect, and can be flavoured with any fresh herbs.
The grilling creates a caramelized seared edge.
Pour sake into a shallow tray. With a pointy knife, pierce the flesh side of the trout about eight times, then place the fish flesh side down in the tray and leave to marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile toast the fennel and coriander seeds in a dry pan until their aroma is released, then add to a pestle and mortar and crack the seeds. Add the sugar and salt and combine with the toasted spices.
Remove the trout form the sake marinade and place on a piece of baking parchment, flesh side up. Press the sugar cure on to the flesh and top with chopped fresh herbs. Ensure the flesh is evenly and fully covered, then wrap the fillet tightly in the paper, ensuring all folds are neat and even. Wrap in cling film and place in a shallow tray in the fridge and weigh down with a heavy milk carton or similar for 3-5 hours.
Brush the trout with a little oil and grill over the grill for a few minutes until the skin is crisp and the fish is lightly cooked, about 4 minutes on each side.
Cook the trout later when the coals are not at the height of their heat.
Due to the sugar and alcohol which have penetrated the flesh during the short cure, you will need to work fast so as not to burn the fish, aiming for a grilled outside but the fish on the inside just heated through. Control the flames with a little sake-miring spray.
Serve with a Japanese slaw with Yuzu Vinaigrette and Crispy Balsamic Onigiri.