Salmon Mousse Fish Mould

GOOD FRIDAY COURTESY OF COOKERY IN COLOUR

It’s customary to eat fish on Good Friday. I never went to church but growing up we always ate fish on Good Friday. I now suspect it was my Mum’s excuse to eat seafood, rather than any fear of accidentally eating Jesus’ flesh.

I kept the tradition alive this year, using Good Friday as an excuse to throw a Cookery in Colour fish dinner party. 2019 is the year of Salmon Mousse.

THE PROCESS

Marguerite gives us the choice of canned or fresh fish for this unique dish. I was doubtful that anyone was going to appreciate this meal either way—so I went with canned.

I didn’t really read the recipe before beginning (which really annoys Justin btw), so I was surprised to discover that true to its name, this recipe was actually a mousse. I was required to beat raw eggs, flour et. al. in the top of my improvised double boiler.

improvised double boiler
My improvised double boiler

Basically, everything gets mixed together and poured into a fish mould. Not surprisingly, I see these moulds in thrift stores all the time.

I made my mould the night before to give it as much time as possible to set. It worked, but the chunkiness of the mixture meant it lacked a little finesse.

vintage fish mould
My vintage fish mould

The most annoying part of this dish was the decoration. I followed Marguerite’s instructions exactly: “surround with green pea salad (cooked peas tossed in a French dressing) and garnish with wedges of hard-boiled egg, radish roses and stuffed olives”

Unfortunately, I left this until the last minute so Justin got stuck with some of these tasks.

Me: “Quick, help! I need you to whip up some radish roses”

Him: “Um… sure?”

We have no idea if he did it correctly, but the results were amazing.

The completed salmon mousse
Salmon mousse is served!

THE OUTCOME

First bites were shocking. The fish flavour was powerful and was unsettling when combined with the gelatinous texture. The general consensus was that the mousse was OK — once you got used to it.

I took one bite and declared, “I don’t like it!”, but with some encouragement, I carried on and found it to be edible.

Overall I would say this dish has something for everyone. Not every guest had the pleasure of eating the mousse — our youngest guest was just two, and I did not want to be responsible for putting him off seafood for life. He did, however, appreciate Justin’s radish roses which we found dunked in various drinks throughout the night.

Recipe

82 Salmon Mousse Fish Mould

1960 photo from Cookery in Colour

Ingredients

  • 8–12 oz. canned salmon*
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ½ oz. butter
  • 1 dessertspoon flour
  • 1½ teacups milk
  • ½ oz. powdered gelatine
  • green pea salad
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • salt and pepper
  • fish stock
  • few tablespoons cream
  • radishes
  • stuffed olives
12 oz. cooked white fish could be used instead.

Directions

  1. Drain the liquid from a can of salmon into a measuring jug. Add a mix of malt vinegar and white wine vinegar to bring the liquid up to one gill (213 ml).
  2. Add butter to the fish liquid and heat until it has just melted. Allow this to cool.
  3. Mix flour, sugar and mustard in the top of a double boiler. Add eggs one at a time. Beat everything together on the double boiler.
  4. Once your mixture is smooth gradually add in your fish liquid, followed by milk. Cook and stir constantly until the mixture is thick, then remove from heat.
  5. Soften gelatine in cold water, then stir this into the hot mixture.
  6. Add your fish to the mixture, then put it in a cool place.
  7. Lightly whip some cream and then fold it into the mixture.
  8. Pour the mixture into a mould (It’s important to rinse the mould first in cold water). Set in the refrigerator.
  9. When ready to serve, release the mold onto a serving dish. Decorate the fish with a green pea salad, stuffed olives, radish roses and boiled egg wedges.

Recipe adapted from Cookery in Colour (1960)

See the original 1960 recipe