This mild cured pike perch with seaweed recipe was given to us Linda Mazure from Latvia, she says it also works well with Trout- we will definitely be having a go!
Freshwater pike perch is a well-known local delicacy in Latvia. There are many different ways of preparing it, but the easiest and fastest method is to mild-cure it. Mild-curing is a century-old food tradition ideally suited to Latvia’s climate. Initially it was method to preserve raw fish, therefore the proportion of salt and sugar was important. Nowadays dry cure has become sweeter. Seasoning can vary from classic dill to seaweed, juniper and fresh berries (lingonberries, elderberries, cloudberries). Instead of applying pressure by weighing fillets down, some modern cooks wrap them tightly in several layers of cling film. While this latter technique is probably more convenient, it may not give the best results. Fish meat must change its structure to firm and dense, as salt draws the moisture out. Dry cure dissolves in it creating a brine, where fully covered fish can be kept for months. We, Latvians eat mild-cured pike perch on thinly sliced buttered toast (white bread) for breakfast. A very similar curing technique is applied on salmon in Scandinavian countries to prepare world famous Gravadlax.
2 pike perch fillets, pin-boned but with skin on (approximately 600g)
50g rock salt
20g Maldon smoked sea salt flakes
30g demerara sugar
Mara Seaweed seaweed mix (equal parts of shony, dulse, kombu)
Clean the fillets with kitchen paper, but do not wash them and remove any bones.
Mix the rock salt, sugar and dill. Lay two fillets skin down and rub them with smoked salt flakes, then add an even layer of seaweed and work it into the topside of the fillets. Scatter over the dry cure mix so that the flesh is completely covered and press on vigorously. Flip over so the thick edge of one fillet fits on the top of the thin edge of the other.
Put it in a tray that is just slightly wider, cover the fillets with a wooden board and place a weight on the top. Put the tray into the fridge for 48 hours.
Before serving, wipe off most of the cure (seaweed and dill), and pat the fillets dry with kitchen paper. Lay the fillets skinside down and cut off thin slices with a sharp knife. Serve it cold on buttered toast or with a veggie salad.
Fillets fully covered by brine fillets can be kept in fridge for at least 2 weeks.
If you would like to contribute a recipe you've discovered using Mara seaweed then please email, facebook or tweet it to Mara.