Salmon Carpaccio with Fennel & Pear is a two-times marinated Salmon served with a pear & fennel side, a sweet compote and a crunchy fennel and pear topping.
This Salmon Carpaccio with Fennel & Pear recipe is my take on a dish I had at a fantastic tapas bar called “La Pepita.” I love this combination of fennel and pear; it brings a certain “je ne sais quoi” to the dish. This recipe is simple but contains many steps. I assure you it’s worth the effort. Also, choose a good “sashimi” grade Salmon since we won’t cook it.
Double Marinated Salmon
The first marinade is a “dry” one, Gravlax-style, mainly made of salt, sugar and a touch of dill. However, Gravlax usually marinates longer; we want the flesh to stay “soft” and not over-cured for this recipe. This marinade will change the texture of the fish slightly for a firmer and more colourful one. Plus, the salt and sugar will help eliminate some of the water naturally present in the flesh and concentrate all that precious Salmon flavour.
The second marinade is a typical wet one without any added acidity… I didn’t want to cook the fish and lose its beautiful colour. A simple top-notch olive oil, some fresh dill and lime/lemon zest to make a final “fresh note” to the fish. I’ve used a sous-vide machine in the video, but it could easily be a simple Ziploc bag that you submerge in water to make it airtight. This marinade lasts 4 to 6 hours, giving the fish an excellent gloss finish and a refreshing tone.
The Pear-Fennel 2 ways
For a two-way Salmon, we’ll also need a stand-out two ways side to accompany it, no? A genius idea since fennel cooked and raw is two different flavours and textures. Once the fennel is cooked, it becomes so sweet and delicate by contrast with the raw fennel, which got some anise notes. Both are easy methods, one is to boil until tender and blend with olive oil, and the other is to pickle with a tad of apple vinegar and olive oil. You’ll have a mouth full of succulent flavours and textures on the final plate.
This dish is guaranteed to impress your guests and is easy to make in advance for a quick last-minute put-together. Serving as a tapas on a single plate or served individually with a green salad and some extra rye bread. Here are other tapas ideas that would suit this dish well:
Let’s start this marinating process!
Salmon Carpaccio with Fennel & Pear
- 1 kg Salmon fillet
- 200 g sea salt
- 100 g white sugar
- 1 tsp dill (dry)
The wet marinade
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 1/2 lime/lemon zest
Fennel and pear compote
- 200 g fennel
- 75 g pear (peeled and cut into small dices)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
Fennel and pear marinade
- 1 pear (peeled and cut into small cubes)
- 50 g fennel (finely sliced)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- salt and pepper
Direction for the fennel and pear compote
- Add the sliced fennel to a small saucepan, and cover with water (just enough to top it barely).
- Boil slowly for 10 minutes.
- Add the peeled pear dice and cook until tender, about 15 more minutes.
- Add the mix to a blender with olive oil, salt and pepper and blend.
- Reserve in the fridge.
Direction for the pickled fennel and marinated pear
- Cut the fennel into fine slices, add apple vinegar, salt and pepper and reserve.
- Cut the peeled pear into brunoise (small dice), add a touch of extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and reserve in the fridge.
Directions for the Salmon Carpaccio
- Take out the pin bones of the Salmon, if any.
- Add the salmon fillet to a plastic bag with the dry marinade (salt, sugar and dill).
- Rub it, ensure it covers all the fish and reserve, skin side down, in the fridge for 24 hours (could be up to 48 hours), turning it mid-may.
- Once the first marinade is done, rinse the excess salt and sugar in cold water and pat dry the fish with a paper towel.
- Add to another clean plastic bag or sous-vide bag, add the wet marinade ingredients (olive oil, fresh dill and lime) and keep the air out of the plastic bag by submerging it in water and closing or sous-vide it.
- Let marinade for 4 to 6 hours.
- Cut into fine slices and serve with the two-way fennel-pear sides.
Serve with some extra rye bread. Enjoy!