Lemon Cured Smelt


Smelt.  We chose it because around here you can never find proper anchovies at the local market.  When we came across this frozen bag of smelt we were pretty excited to get it home and create a lemon cured dish which would make a perfect Friday night snack.



We began with frozen smelt which we defrosted in cold water.  It would have been great to use fresh but we are not close enough to the sea so this quick frozen smelt from Peru had to suffice.


Place the frozen smelt in cold water to thaw.  Change the water regularly.



 Meanwhile mix coriander seeds, a bay leaf, chili flakes, white pepper, green peppercorns, celery salt, a little sugar and mustard seeds into a container.


Slice a whole lemon and juice into the container.



Add a little sliced onion and let stand for twenty minutes.


We added the addition of a Meyer Lemon to our mix.


Once the smelt is defrosted remove the tough backbone and tails from the fish.


Dry off on kitchen towel then carefully place the smelt into a vacuum sealable bag.


Remove the onion from the liquid mixture and pour the liquid into the bag of fish.



 Vacuum seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for at least four hours to allow the citrus to “cook” the fish ceviche style.  The fish will lose their transparency and become opaque, feeling firm to the touch.


A delicious and healthy snack perfect to accompany a good glass of beer on a Friday night.  We placed ours on some simple lettuce leaves and drizzled with olive oil.


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