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Lyndey Milan’s Hot-smoked salmon and asparagus with seaweed butter recipe

Preparation time
10 mins + 2+ hrs in fridge
Cooking time
15 mins

We recommend a Chardonnay with the salmon and an example from Margaret River’s Driftwood is ideal. Part of their ‘Collection’ range, the Driftwood Chardonnay has loads of peach and citrus varietal depth and just the right amount of classy oak in support. It’s a vibrant and flavoursome pairing.


  • 4 x 180g-200g skinless salmon fillets, pin-boned
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 500g mixed mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 green onions (shallots), finely sliced
  • 2 bunches asparagus, ends snapped off

Brining mixture

  • 1/3 cup (75g) raw or granulated
    brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (40g) sea salt flakes (not fine salt)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest of half an orange

Smoking mixture

  • 2 tbsp lapsang souchong or other
    black tea leaves (not bags)
  • 3 tbsp jasmine rice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, cracked
  • Strips from remaining half orange
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

Seaweed butter

  • 120g butter, softened
  • 2 tsp seaweed paste


  1. Pat fish dry with kitchen paper. To cure the fish which helps firm the texture and add flavour, mix together all ingredients. Lay out four pieces of plastic wrap. Divide half the brining mixture between the four pieces, lay dry fish on top, sprinkle evenly with remaining cure and wrap up firmly. Let sit for an hour or so, refrigerated if your kitchen is hot, or overnight.
  2. Remove from the fridge, rinse off the
    cure, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place back in the fridge, uncovered, for a minimum of 1 hour, but preferably longer, up to
    4 hours to allow the pellicle to form – after the salt draws out some of the moisture, drying in the fridge the surface forms a sticky, salty layer that keeps the moisture locked in, but also lets in the smoke flavour.
  3. Line a wok or large stir-fry pan with two thicknesses of foil. Place smoking mixture on top, mix well and place over high heat. Cover and when it starts to smoke place a greased rack and salmon on top. Ensure there is room for air to circulate, then cover tightly. Wrap foil around the edges if necessary. Smoke for about 6-8 minutes Turn off heat, and leave another 10 minutes for the smoke to infuse. Take wok outside or put underneath exhaust fan to remove lid. Remove salmon and rack with tongs and fold up foil to encase smoking mixture. Put aside to cool before discarding. The salmon may look uncooked but it should be hot, cooked at the edges but pleasantly pink inside. Pop under a hot griller if you want it more cooked and golden.
  4. Meanwhile blend the butter and seaweed paste in a processor until smooth. Remove to a sheet of greasproof paper and roll to form a log. Store in the fridge.
  5. Melt butter in a large fryingpan over medium high heat, add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and green onions and cook a minute more.
  6. Steam, poach or microwave the asparagus for 2 minutes or until tender crisp. Serve asparagus with salmon, a slice of seaweed butter and mushrooms.

Lyndey’s note: Seaweed paste is available in the Japanese section of Asian grocery stores.

Preparation time
10 mins + 2+ hrs in fridge
Cooking time
15 mins


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Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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