If you fancy a change from turkey this Christmas, try this inspiring and stunning alternative as a main course - delicious whole salmon, ribbon cucumbers served with a lemony mayonnaise sauce.
Pour 4 litres of boiling water into a large pan, add the loose tea, sugar, lemon slices and half the thyme. Bring to a boil, then set aside to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and discard the tea leaves, lemon slices and thyme.
Pour the infused liquid into a fish kettle or deep roasting tin big enough to cook the salmon. Place on the hob, across two rings, and add the remaining thyme along with the carrots, celery, leek and parsley. Bring to the boil, then lower in the salmon. If the fish isn’t fully covered, top up with boiling water. Bring back to the boil, cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove kettle or tin from the heat and set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes, until the fish is just firm to touch, or 2 hours if you want to serve it cold.
Mix together the mayonnaise, lemon zest, a squeeze of juice, the chopped basil leaves and seasoning.
Once the salmon is cool transfer to a large serving plate, remove the head and tail and carefully peel away and discard the skin and any brown-grey flesh.
Garnish with the strips of cucumber, lemon slices and a handful of fresh watercress.
This dish works particularly well with lemon-scented jasmine rice. You can serve the fish warm or cold, but whatever you decide, it's important to leave the salmon in the poaching water for at least 30 minutes to ensure it's fully cooked.
Whole salmon products may only be available in limited stores.
See more Salmon recipes