Mark Greenaway recipe: Hot Smoked Salmon, Apple, Watermelon, Hazelnuts and Saffron Mayonnaise

January has us all feeling guilty! After an indulgent festive period, light and fresh dishes are called for.
Hot Smoked Salmon, Apple, Watermelon, Hazelnuts and Saffron Mayonnaise. Picture: Paul JohnstonHot Smoked Salmon, Apple, Watermelon, Hazelnuts and Saffron Mayonnaise. Picture: Paul Johnston
Hot Smoked Salmon, Apple, Watermelon, Hazelnuts and Saffron Mayonnaise. Picture: Paul Johnston

Hot smoking your own salmon at home may seem a little intimidating but it is a lot simpler than it sounds and it does not require any specialist equipment. I would highly recommend giving it a go, no better way to impress your guests than to say you smoked your own salmon!

This dish is a firm favourite and is currently on our lunch menu at Bistro Moderne in Stockbridge.

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The accompaniments may seem like unlikely partners for salmon but the hazelnuts add amazing texture. The watermelon, apple and cucumber add a crisp freshness to the dish and really balance out the strong flavour of the fish. The saffron mayonnaise adds just a little hint of indulgence to this otherwise sin-free plate!

Serves 4

For the salmon:


200g salt

400g caster sugar

1 lime, zest and juice

1 orange, zest and juice

5 star anise

2 tbsp chopped dill

400g salmon, pin-boned and skin off


Blend all of the ingredients together excluding the salmon. Smoother the salmon with this rub. Cover and store in the fridge for 12 hours. Rinse all of the rub from the salmon.

For the smoker:

Wood chips

1 cooling rack

1 old baking tray


Place the wood chips on the baking tray and top with the wire rack. Place your salmon on the wire rack and cover in tinfoil. Place the tray on your hob over a medium heat. Smoke for 7-8 minutes or until the salmon is medium rare.

For the mayonnaise:


1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

1tsp Dijon mustard

2tbsp sherry vinegar

A large pinch of saffron soaked in 3tbsp boiling water

500ml rapeseed oil


In a bowl or the container of a food processor, combine the egg, egg yolk, mustard, vinegar, saffron and water. Set the food processor on medium speed or whisk by hand and gradually drizzle in the oil while whisking or blending. When all of the oil has been added, taste and season.

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Please note: mayonnaise only curdles if the oil is added too quickly at the beginning. If that happens, don’t worry. All you need to do is put a fresh egg yolk into a clean bowl, add the curdled mixture to it (drop by drop whisking continuously), then continue adding the rest of the oil as though nothing has happened.

For the salad:


1 apple

½ cucumber

½ watermelon

Chopped hazelnuts


Thinly slice the apple and cucumber as per the photo. Peel and cube the watermelon.

To serve:

Break the salmon into pieces and arrange on four plates with the apple, cucumber, watermelon and hazelnuts. Dot the saffron mayonnaise around the plates.