Gin & tonic coriander salmon


Juniper, gin and salmon. There is nothing new under the sun, I realise that, but the addition of the tonic to this dish may put the theory to the test. I tried it in a moment of reckless adventure. Once cooked, the tonic water added a shrill, sweet edge to the salmon that I found most pleasing. The title reads like a contrived 1970’s toe curler but I urge you, open your mind and give it a whirl.

Prep: 20 minutes, plus marinating
Cook: 20 minutes


  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 juniper berries, crushed
  • grated zest and juice of limes
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chopped coriander/cilantro leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 3 tbsp gin
  • 5 tbsp tonic water
  • 4 x 125 g/ oz salmon fillets
  • 200 g/7 oz/heaped 1 cup white basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Put the oil, garlic, juniper berries, lime zest and juice, ground coriander, coriander/cilantro leaves and gin and tonic in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Put the salmon fillet, flesh-side down, in the mixture, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

Select a shallow heatproof casserole dish and create a foil tent into which you can fit the four salmon fillets. Bear in mind there should be enough foil to tent over the fish and to seal.

Transfer the fish with the juices into the foil tent. Bring the foil sides up and seal the fish into a parcel. Put the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 15–20 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the rice and 480 ml/16 fl oz/2 cups water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes until the rice has absorbed almost all the water. Clamp a lid on the pan, remove from the heat and leave for 10 minutes.

Remove the foil tent from the oven and open it up. Carefully spoon the cooked basmati rice around the sides of the fish into the juices. Sprinkle with a few coriander/cilantro leaves, grind a little black pepper over the top and dot with lime wedges to serve.