This dish is a clever way to use left-over scraps of salmon. It can also be made with salmon fillet, cut into thin strips, or a mixture of fillet and other pieces.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (20 votes)


  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) melted duck fat or extra virgin olive oil
  • 400 g (14 oz) salmon scraps  (belly, tails, etc.), skin removed,  pin-boned (see note)
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and  finely chopped
  • pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lemon
  • sliced baguette, to serve
  • cornichons, to serve
  • capers, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 1 hour

Heat the duck fat in a small, deep frying pan over medium heat to 69°C (156°F), measuring the temperature using a thermometer.

Add the salmon scraps, thyme sprigs and garlic to the warm fat. Remove the pan from the heat, cover tightly with foil and leave to cool to room temperature.

Once cooled completely, remove the salmon from the fat and transfer to a bowl. Using two forks, break the salmon apart, adding a little of the duck fat, as necessary, to keep the fish moist. Add the salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice to taste.

Serve the pâté with plain or toasted sliced baguette, cornichons and capers.



• Salmon pâté also makes a delicious canapé for a dinner party or cocktail soirée.


Recipe and image from Australian Fish and Seafood Cookbook by John Susman, Anthony Huckstep, Sarah Swan, and Stephen Hodges (Murdoch Books, HB, $79.99). Photography by Ben Dearnley.


Read more on how to buy the freshest fish here.