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Beetroot-cured ocean trout with buttermilk and soft herbs

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for beetroot-cured ocean trout with buttermilk and soft herbs.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 min cooking plus curing
  • Serves 6 - 8
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Beetroot-cured ocean trout with buttermilk and soft herbs
While smoked salmon is a popular breakfast side dish, we also love the lighter flavour of home-cured ocean trout, especially with buttery toast, soft-boiled eggs and a drizzle of buttermilk dressing. Begin this recipe a day ahead to cure the trout.


  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped soft herbs, such as chervil, dill, chives and flat-leaf parsley
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon and ½ orange
  • For brushing: Dijon mustard
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) buttermilk
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
  • To serve: watercress sprigs, salmon roe (optional), soft-boiled eggs, soft-herb salad and buttered toast
Beetroot-cured ocean trout
  • 250 gm each raw caster sugar and rock salt
  • 2 beetroot, coarsely grated
  • ½ cup each coarsely chopped fennel tops and dill
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 50 ml gin
  • 1 side ocean trout (1.2kg), skin off, pin-boned


  • 1
    For beetroot-cured ocean trout, combine all ingredients, except trout, in a bowl. Spread half the mixture in the base of a non-reactive container large enough to fit trout snugly, place trout on top and spread remaining mixture over. Cover and refrigerate overnight to cure. Remove trout from cure, brush off any remaining mixture and pat dry with paper towels.
  • 2
    Toast fennel seeds in a small pan until fragrant (30 seconds), then crush with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl, add herbs and rinds, and mix well.
  • 3
    Brush trout lightly with mustard, scatter herb mixture over and press into trout, then refrigerate until required.
  • 4
    Whisk buttermilk, olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl to combine and season to taste. Scatter trout with watercress and salmon roe and serve with dressing, soft-boiled eggs, a soft-herb salad and with buttered crusty toast alongside.