Aurora, the Adelaide restaurant where chef Brendan Wessels is determined to be nice

Gin-hardened salmon with salmon skin chips

Difficulty level For 8-10 people

“This dish is ideal for parties with a glass of soap bubbles,” says Aurora boss Brendan Wessels. “And the salmon skin chips are easy to make and yet so decadent.”

His tip? “Ask your fishmonger for some extra salmon skins – they often skin the fish for sale and leave it behind.” Serve the salmon with blinis, bagels or hot buttered bread with caviar cream.


  • 1 side of fresh salmon, boneless and skinless
  • 300 g sea salt
  • 150 g castor sugar
  • 150 g mixed plant substances (e.g. juniper, star anise, clove, citrus peel)
  • 150 ml of your favorite gin
  • 1 bunch of fresh dill
  • 60g sour cream
  • 25 g salmon roe (such as Yarra Valley Bloody Shiraz Gin salmon roe)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Soak the botanicals in the gin overnight and toss them back and forth occasionally. Drain them and flash them in a blender to break them down. Add a third of the salt and flash until mushy, then mix with the remaining salt and sugar.

Place the salmon skin down on a tray and coat the pulp with the medicinal mixture. Store in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

Scrape off as much of the healing mixture as you can, then wipe off any excess material.

Finely chop the dill and spread over it. Keep in the refrigerator until use.

Soak the sour cream with a rubber spatula and carefully fold in the salmon roe, sea salt and pepper.

Cut the salmon into diagonal slices and serve with the caviar cream and salmon skin chips.

Salmon skin chips

  • 3 or 4 salmon skins
  • Oil for deep-frying

Use a scraper to remove any meat and fat from the skins. Blanch for 30 seconds at a time in really salty boiling water and allow to drain.

Arrange on a baking sheet lined with baking paper (“Be careful, the skin is very sensitive”, warns Wessels) and bake at 80 ° C until it is dry but flexible. The shells are carefully removed from the paper as they shrink.

Cut the skins into portion pieces. Heat the oil to 200 ° C in a deep pan. Let the skins fall until they puff, drain and serve warm.

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