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Whisky Cured Salmon with Orange and Brown Sugar

Updated: May 6, 2023

The Highland Club provides self-catering accommodation but we’d like to also provide some foodie inspiration to practise during your stay with us. From family friendly to fancy meals to vegetarian options, we will try to inspire you with some Highland recipes using the best Scottish ingredients, sourced locally and chosen as a result of their availability around Fort Augustus region. Breakout your apron and get ready to whip up some fantastic dishes!

Whisky cured salmon with orange and brown sugar

This recipe involves two famous Scottish ingredients: whisky and salmon.

Whisky has been running through the heart of Scotland for centuries. Deriving from the Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha or Irish Gaelic uisce beatha, whisky translates literally to ‘the water of life’. For many, this liquor could be the elixir of life or at least as close as you can get to it.

Now if whisky is the water of life, Scottish salmon has been swimming in it. Scottish salmon are renowned for their life cycle as well as their taste. From being spawned and born in freshwater rivers inland in Scotland, these powerful fish find their way back to the sea and return to their same streams upon breeding season. This fish is an integral piece of the Scottish diet and it is one of the freshest flavour you will find throughout Scotland.

If you didn’t know, curing salmon is a technique found in Scotland since the arrival of the Vikings. Using equal parts of sugar and salt to preserve meat and fish and prevent spoilage, it is an easy way to inject flavour and can be easily done at home. We’ve come up with our own take on cured salmon for your pleasure.

This whisky cured salmon is a perfect combination of citrus and smoky flavours, and it requires nothing but patience. Perfect on its own or on an open faced rye bread sandwich, find yourself a delicious meal with this!


Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 48 hours (in fridge)


1 pound salmon (filleted and deboned) Basting mixture: Up to 100ml of whisky Juice of ½ an orange Cure: 100g brown sugar 100g sea-salt 3 tbsp of orange zest

  1. Check salmon has been thoroughly deboned. Remove any bones with tweezers.

  2. Lay out two layers of cling film on the counter, enough to cover the salmon completely.

  3. Combine the basting mixture: whisky and orange juice

  4. On a tray, baste the salmon in the mixture by brushing it onto the fish. Ensure a complete coating.

  5. Mix together the cure ingredients: salt, sugar, orange zest.

  6. Sprinkle half the cure ingredients on to the layer of cling film.

  7. Place the fish on top of this layer and cover the fish with the rest of the cure.

  8. Wrap the salmon tightly in the cling film and place the salmon in a tray.*

  9. Place your salmon in the fridge and leave for at least 24 hours.

  10. After 24-48 hours, unwrap your salmon and wash under cold water.

  11. Slice your home-cured salmon and enjoy it with a dram!

Tip: Water will be pulled from the salmon. Ensure there is a space on your tray so the liquid does not overflow.

To see more Scottish inspired recipes, click the tag below or read our favourite Scottish recipes.

This post was first published 11th November 2019

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