Beetroot cured ocean trout with potato pancakes

A versatile and delicious combination, serve on large potato cakes with perfectly poached eggs and some rocket for breakfast or lunch, alternatively makes a delicious nibble served on bite sized crispy potato cakes with a crown of salmon pearls served with a crisp glass of prosecco.








Cured trout

The curing mix is enough for up to 1kg fish (roughly a side of ocean trout).

  • 500g ocean trout or salmon without skin
  • 2 large (600g)
    beetroots, coarsely grated
  • 300g sugar
  • 300g rock salt
  • 70ml gin
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 10g fennel seeds, toasted until they pop and are fragrant, lightly crushed


Makes about 14 balls or can be made and stored in a tub with a layer of herbs and olive oil and used as a spread.

  • 300g pot set Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed herb leaves – mint, parsley, dill
  • 80ml fruity extra virgin olive oil

Crispy potato cakes

  • 500g sebago (or any dry potato that is good for roasting) potatoes, peeled
  • 30g cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Salmon pearls to serve


1. To cure the trout

Put the beetroot, sugar, salt, gin, lemon zest and crushed fennel seeds into a large bowl and mix until well combined. In a baking tray or tub (size depending on the size of your fish) spread half the beetroot mixture, lay the fish on top and cover completely with the remaining beetroot. Cover tightly with cling wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. When the trout has finished curing, remove from the beetroot mixture, gently wiping off any excess, and pat dry. Wrap and refrigerate until needed. To serve, using a very sharp knife, cut the thinnest slices you can manage.  

2. To make the labneh

Line a fine mesh sieve with 2 layers of paper towel and top with a new chux or 2 layers of fine cooking muslin. Sit snuggly over a bowl, making sure the base of the sieve is not touching the base of the bowl. Spoon in the yoghurt and spread around the lined sieve. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 24 hours. Check the progress after about 12 hours, turning the yoghurt over to make sure that all excess moisture is drawn from the yoghurt, leaving you with a dense curd. The labneh can be stored in a tub to use as a spread, topped with the chopped herbs and olive oil. Alternatively take approximately 15g pieces and working quickly, roll into balls. Spread the chopped herbs over a plate or tray and roll the labneh balls through the herbs to coat, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Store for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

3. To make the potato cakes

Grate the peeled potatoes with a medium grater, put the grated potato into a clean cloth and squeeze out all excess moisture. Put the squeezed potato into a bowl, add the cornflour, paprika and generously season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, mix to combine.

To make the potato cakes, heat a heavy based frying pan over a medium heat, coat the base of the pan in a thin layer of olive oil. Put heaped tablespoons (about 20-30g) of the potato into the pan, flattening with a spatula as they cook, cook for 2-3 minutes each side until crispy golden and cooked through. For a breakfast dish you can make larger potato cakes the same way using a half cup measure.

4. To serve

This can be a served loosely as a DIY situation, with a bowl of the labneh and a pile of shaved trout served alongside the hot potato cakes, or a something special canape, potato cakes topped with labneh and a rosette of trout with a scatter of salmon pearls.