Pastrami salmon fillets with horseradish mashed potatoes

Put traditional pastrami spices to work on a midweek fresh salmon fillet.
Put traditional pastrami spices to work on a midweek fresh salmon fillet. Photo: William Meppem

The time-honoured flavours of the Jewish deli have seen a renaissance, from smoked meats and crunchy pickles to pretzels and smoked salmon bagels. They're strong enough for a bit of reinvention, too. Pastrami spices (traditionally used for curing beef) make a great flavour additive for fresh salmon. Make a double batch of the spice mix and use it time and again, on chicken thighs, lamb chops, pork ribs, eggplant and mushrooms.


4 x 180g king salmon fillets, skin removed

2 tbsp olive oil

800g all-purpose potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tbsp butter

100ml milk

2 tbsp horseradish cream

Pastrami spice rub

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tbsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp garlic powder 

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp smoked paprika


1. To make the pastrami spice mix, toast the coriander seeds, peppercorns and mustard seeds in a dry pan over medium heat for two minutes or until the mustard seeds start popping. Coarsely crush or grind, mix with the sugar, garlic powder, sea salt and paprika, and set aside.

2. Brush each fillet with a little olive oil and press firmly into the spice mix until coated on all sides. Refrigerate for one hour or overnight.

3. Cook the potatoes in simmering salted water until tender, drain well and mash with butter. Beat in the milk and horseradish cream and season well.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy fry pan and cook the salmon for four minutes over medium heat until golden. Turn and cook the other side until gently pink in the centre, and serve with the mash and green beans.

For dessert, try Jill's sour cherry and almond cake recipe.