Tea-smoked salmon with cucumber and lemon

Tea-smoked salmon with cucumber and lemon

  • serves 10
  • A little effort

Tea-smoking your own fish is much easier than you’d imagine. Earl grey adds a lovely flavour, but if you’re a real smoke-lover, try lapsang souchong



  • side of salmon 1 large, skinless
  • earl grey tea leaves 100g, plus a pinch
  • white rice 500g (use the cheapest available)
  • light muscovado sugar 100g
  • mayonnaise 300ml


  • white onion 1 small, very finely sliced
  • lemons 3, zested 
  • cucumbers 2, peeled 
  • rapeseed oil
  • white wine vinegar 1 tbsp
  • golden caster sugar 1 tsp


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Line a roasting tin (that’s large enough to fit the salmon) with a giant sheet of foil that hangs over both sides – it’s going to act as a tent to seal around the salmon, so make sure it will be big enough to cover it at the end. Mix the tea, raw rice and sugar, and spread over the foil. Fold a few more layers of foil into a sturdy sheet, that will fit inside the tin, on top of the tea mixture. Wrap the sturdy foil sheet in baking paper and use a skewer to pierce lots of holes all over it.

  • Step 2

    Sit the roasting tin over the hob until the tea mix starts smoking (or, if you can’t put the tin on the hob, tip the rice mixture into a frying pan to heat), then lay the hole-poked foil/paper layer on top of the tea. Sit the salmon fillet on the holey layer, and fold up the sides of the original sheet of foil to make a tent over the whole lot – sealing the smoking tea leaves and salmon into the same parcel.

  • Step 3

    Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, then leave to cool inside the parcel for another 25 minutes. If you’re making this ahead, chill until ready to serve.

  • Step 4

    Stir the lemon zest into the mayonnaise so it’s ready to serve, then make the salad. Put the sliced onions in a sieve. Boil the kettle, and slowly pour it over the sliced onions – this will make their flavour milder. Top and tail the lemons, then use a small, sharp knife to cut away the pith from each before slicing into very thin rounds. Trim the ends of the cucumbers too, then cut into 4 equal lengths. Use an apple corer to remove the seediest middle parts of the cucumber chunks, then slice thinly and mix with the sliced lemons, onions, oil, vinegar and caster sugar.

  • Step 5

    To serve, spread the salad over a big platter and sit the salmon on top. Add the mayo, a couple of big forks and spoons to serve.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 451
  • Fat 39.2g
  • Saturates 5.9g
  • Carbs 2.6g
  • Fibre 1g
  • Protein 21.5g
  • Salt 0.8g