All posts by johnross

Reasons to buy Scottish smoked salmon

Enjoy eggs and Scottish smoked salmon soldiers this Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight


Other than the fact that Scottish smoked salmon is delicious, there are many reasons to eat it – including those relating to good health.

However, for the purposes of this blog, we’re going to focus on the fact that Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight (4 – 19 September) is underway and outline why it’s important to celebrate the best Scottish food.

With such a rich history, combined with how it’s home to so many prominent, internationally renowned food brands, Scotland has become a food brand in its own right.

This boom is down to a number of factors including growing interest from China (a country that we’re proud to say that John Ross now supplies). However, in our view, one of Scotland’s strongest foodie assets is the importance it places on provenance.

Its cold climate, lush fields and clear waters typically provide the perfect environment for farming beef, which is often associated with Scotland, and salmon, which can be reared in conditions that result in lean, well-exercised and non-oily fish. And that’s before you consider the traditional production processes that Scotland, with its rich history, is home to.

John Ross, for example, still uses traditional brick kilns that date back to 1857 to create what we believe is the best smoked salmon in the world. Not only that, but each salmon is individually hung, by hand, over piles of oak and beech wood chippings that sit atop a cobbled floor with a history as long as the kilns. The piles are then lit and the salmon cold smoked for up to 24 hours.

We don’t have to do this, of course. We could, like many UK smoked salmon producers, use industrial electric ovens. Aside from the fact that the end product is nowhere near as good – both in texture and in taste – where’s the skill there? Where’s the time-honoured production methods required to create something of note.

The phrase ‘made with love’ is often used, but for artisan producers like John Ross it’s absolutely true. To get the perfect product, the conditions have to be perfect – even air temperature and humidity has to be taken into consideration in order to create the perfectly smoked salmon.

Thankfully, there are many artisan producers in Scotland who remain committed to methods passed down from generation to generation, and who work tirelessly to not only create the best products possible but also promote everything that is good about Scotland. Despite the changes in language and culture as you leave Scotland, one thing seems to cut through language: provenance.

For this reason we fully support Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight and the campaign’s goal of showcasing the very best of Scottish food and the producers behind it.

So, if you’re looking to buy Scottish smoked salmon online (or even buy smoked salmon in the supermarket), then be sure to look out for Scottish food producers – and, it goes without saying, John Ross in particular.

Oh, and if you do want to know why eating smoked salmon is healthy for you, click here.

National Pie Week 2021

It’s National Pie Week (1 – 7 March) and have we got a great pie recipe for you.

Although it’s not a smoked salmon pie recipe, it’s the next best thing – a fresh salmon pie recipe, which makes a change from the usual contenders such as steak and ale and chicken and mushroom.

Also, it’s a salmon recipe for a pie that’s not actually a pie, but a pithivier – a pie made from two disks, so we’re really pushing the boundaries of this year’s event.

Our chefs had fun making this and as you can see, it looks delicious. If you do make it, let us know how it turned out.

Salmon, spinach and tarragon pithivier

Serves 4 – 5


  • 2 packs of all butter, ready rolled puff pastry
  • 500g middle cut piece of fresh salmon fillet
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 200g bag of baby spinach
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 4 stalks fresh tarragon
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 beaten egg


Finely dice the shallot and crush the garlic. Sweat in a pan over a gentle heat with a knob of butter and a pinch of salt. Add the spinach and wilt. Cook until no moisture remains in the pan.Tip into a bowl and add the cream cheese, lemon zest and finely chopped tarragon leaves.

Unroll one pack of pastry and draw a circle gently around a dinner plate to use as a guide. Spread half the spinach mix on the pastry, leaving an inch clear from the edge of the circle.

Place the salmon on top, trimming if necessary, to fit the circle of spinach. Top with the remaining spinach.

Brush the beaten egg around the inch of uncovered pastry and place another sheet of pastry on top, using the edges to seal. Cut around the circle and press the edges with a fork to seal. Using a knife, gentle pattern the pastry and brush generously with egg to glaze. Leave to chill in the fridge whilst you preheat the oven to 200C.

Bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is golden and serve with a leafy green salad.

For more recipes, special offers and competitions, sign up to our newsletter via the homepage.

Enjoy healthy fish and chips this National Fish & Chip Day

Healthy fish and chips with John Ross Jr for National Fish and Chip Day
Healthy fish and chips with John Ross Jr for National Fish and Chip Day


It’s National Fish & Chip Day 2020 on 4thSeptember. And if you love fish and chips but hate the fact that it’s generally not the healthiest of dishes, then you’ll love this healthy fish and chipsrecipe. Not only that, but we’ve used fresh salmon to make it even healthier – and, let’s face it, tastier.

So, move over cod, hake and haddock. This year’s National Fish & Chip Day is all about fresh salmon – with chips, of course.

Healthy fish and chips recipe

Ingredients (serves 4)

For the fish and chips

  • Four John Ross salmon fillets(skin on)
  • Juice – and zest – of a lime
  • 1 x teaspoon of paprika
  • 3 x tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 x sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced equally
  • Lime wedges (to serve)

For the salsa

  • Handful of coriander leaves (finely chopped)
  • ½ red onion (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cucumber (finely chopped)
  • Four finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli (finely chopped)
  • Handful of parsley (finely chopped)


Heat an oven to 190˚C and place the four salmon fillets in a roasting tray. In a small bowl – or cup – mix the lime zest, juice, paprika and olive oil, and brush the salmon with it. Season if you want to. Once the oven’s up to temperature, cook for 20 minutes.

Grab another roasting tin and add the sweet potato strips. Toss with oil and seasoning, and cook for around 15 minutes – so that it finishes cooking at the same time as the salmon.

Whilst they’re both cooking, mix together all the salsa ingredients. Then serve with the cooked salmon and chips.

But if that’s a little too healthy for you, then here’s a more traditional fish and chips recipe.

Battered salmon and chips

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Four John Ross salmon fillets
  • 150g plain flour
  • 200ml lager
  • 750g potatoes – cut into chips
  • 1 x teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 x teaspoon sea salt
  • Sunflower oil (1 litre)
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • 1 x lemon (cut into quarters)


Combine the salt, baking powder and flour in a large bowl. Whisk in the lager until the batter’s smooth.

Boil the potatoes in a pan of hot water for approx. 10 minutes before draining and setting aside to dry. Then heat the oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until golden and remove with a slotted spoon – making sure you take care.

Then dip the salmon fillets in the batter and place in the hot oil and cook until the batter is cooked and golden.

Serve with salt and vinegar, a wedge of lemon and, if you’re going the whole way, some peas.

Will you be making salmon and chips as part of National Fish & Chip Day? If so, share your dish pictures with us via Facebook, Instagramand Twitter.

Smoked salmon and sourdough

Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs

Who’s been baking bread over recent months – during lockdown in particular? We certainly have. Although the one that’s just that little harder to prepare is sourdough, mainly as it requires a starter. However, as Sourdough Septemberis almost upon us, it’s a good excuse to share our favourite sourdough bread recipe, provide you with our favourite smoked salmon and sourdough bread recipe, and get baking.

Part one: the sourdough

This easy sourdough bread recipe from BBC Good Food is our favourite. Not only because it’s easy, but because it’s delicious, too.


For the starter

  • 100g strong white flour
  • 100g dark rye flour
  • 5 x 7g sachet of yeast (fast action)


For the main dough

  • 400g strong white flour
  • 5 x 7g sachet of yeast (fast action)


Place the starter ingredients in a bowl, add 250ml of cold water and mix together until the texture becomes spongy. Cover with Clingfilm and leave overnight at room temperature.

When ready, tip the dough ingredients into a new bowl, add one tablespoon of salt, 200ml cold water and then the starter. Combine all ingredients. Knead for 10 minutes – or until smooth – and then place in a clean, well-oiled bowl (so it doesn’t stick when you pull it out). Leave until its doubled in size.

Place on a work surface and shape into a round before placing on a piece of parchment paper, on a baking tray, and leaving to double in size once again. Whilst proving, heat an oven to 220C. When risen, place in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.


So, now you have the bread, let’s move onto the smoked salmon and sourdough bread recipe.


Part two: the smoked salmon recipe

Smoked salmon bruschetta on sourdough (serves 2)

  • 150g traditional smoked salmon (we recommend you buy smoked salmon in the 200g pack so you have some leftover)
  • 60g tomato salsa
  • 2 x tablespoons of crème fraiche
  • 1 x lemon
  • 2 x garlic cloves
  • 1 x shallot
  • 3 x ripe tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh herbs such as coriander and basil
  • Your freshly made sourdough bread



Quarter the tomato and dice into 5mm cubes. Dice the shallot and mince the garlic and fresh herbs. Mix everything together with lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Then add half a cup of olive oil. Mix further.

Slice your bread and brush each slice with oil before toasting in a pan. Mix four tablespoons of crème fraiche with the juice of quarter of a lemon.

When the bread’s toasted, spread the crème fraiche mixture on top onto each slice. Then add a large spoonful of salsa before adding a layer (or two) of smoked salmon slices on top. Garnish with any leftover herbs and enjoy.

Got any smoked salmon and sourdough recipes you’d like to share? If so, share them with us – and receive smoked salmon offers – via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Also, you can get involved with Sourdough September via social using #SourdoughSeptember.

Get your grill on this National BBQ Week

‘Barbi for Britain’ is this year’s mantra from the team at National BBQ Week, which takes place from 25 – 31 May. This year’s event will add extra sizzle by using its Biggest Backyard BBQ Bash to say ‘thank you’ to NHS and supermarket staff.


To help you prepare for the event (and let’s hope the good weather continues), here are two fantastic BBQ fish recipesdesigned for outdoor cooking. Afterall, aren’t we all a little tired of burgers and sausages?


But before we get to the food, here are three top tips for grilling fish on the BBQ:


  1. A clean grill = clean fish. Heat the grill for 10-15 minutes and scrape it clean before fish and flame make contact


  1. Handling/flipping fish on the BBQ is easy – but you need the tools at the ready. Get everything you need prior to placing the fish on the grill


  1. Leave the skin on. Not only can it taste delicious when crisp, but it also helps prevent the fish from breaking apart


Now, onto the recipes.


Barbeque Roasted Salmon


As a Scottish smoked salmon producer, you probably won’t be surprised to find that these are BBQ salmon recipes. And if you like our Kiln Roasted Salmon then you’ll love this.




4 x John Ross salmon fillets

100ml pineapple juice

2 x tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)

2 x tablespoons brown sugar

1 x tablespoon chilli powder

1 x teaspoon lemon rind

1 x teaspoon of cumin

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

A generous pinch of salt




Take all the ingredients except the salmon and mix in a large bowl, forming a marinade. Once mixed, gently place the salmon fillets in there and spoon over the marinade. Leave for as long as possible – preferably overnight.


When ready to BBQ, heat the grill to around 200 degrees Celsius and brush oil over the surface you’ll be using to grill the salmon. When ready, place the fillets on the grill and cook each side four around 5 – 7 minutes.


Serve with salad.


Sticky BBQ salmon


This Jamie Oliver-inspired dish is delicious and can stretch to six people.




1 x side of John Ross fresh salmon

2 x lemongrass sticks

30g fresh coriander

5cm block of fresh ginger

4 x cloves garlic

4 x tablespoons of soy sauce

4 x tablespoons maple syrup (although Jamie uses honey)

2 x red chillies

4 x spring onions

2 x limes




Trim and smash up the lemongrass, finely chop the coriander and garlic, and peel and grate the ginger.  In a bowl, mix this with the soy sauce and then rub it over the John Ross salmon side. Leave to marinade as long as possible.


When marinated and ready to cook, heat the BBQ for 10 – 15 minutes. Before placing the salmon on the grill, brush the entire salmon with the honey. Cook skin side down, with the lid down, for around 10 – 15 minutes.


Whilst cooking, deseed the chillies and slice the spring onions. When the salmon’s cooked, place on a large plate and sprinkle with the chillies, onions and any excess coriander. Squeeze over the lime juice and serve with salad.


Got any BBQ fish recipes you’d like to share? If so, get in touch via our Facebook, Instagram or Twitterpages.

Smoked salmon picnic ideas

Smoked salmon and asparagus tart – perfect for picnics


The last two months of lockdown have been tough. Really tough, in fact. However, a small ray of light has appeared following the UK government’s decision to begin easing lockdown conditions. One of the key changes – and one that is likely to be welcomed given the recent wave of good weather – is that you can now travel to parks, as a family, or with one non-family member (providing social distancing is observed). So, with the sunshine in mind, here are two smoked salmon picnic ideas to help give lockdown picnics a little more magic.

Asparagus and Smoked Salmon Tart

serves 4


150g John Ross smoked salmon

320g ready-rolled all butter puff pastry

180g cream cheese
4 tbsp fresh pesto
sea salt

100g asparagus
Olive oil



Heat the oven to 180°c fan/gas 6, unroll the puff pastry and place on to baking parchment on a baking tray.

Mix together the cream cheese and pesto with the pinch of salt and stir until marbled.

Brush the asparagus with olive oil. Using a knife, score a border of 1.5cm from the edge of the pastry and spread the cream cheese mixture inside the border.

Top the tart with the asparagus and bake on the middle shelf for 20 mins until golden and puffed.  Remove from the oven to cool.

When you’re ready for your picnic, pack the tart and take the pack of smoked salmon with you. Before serving, top the tart with the smoked salmon, slice and enjoy.


Scottish smoked salmon sandwich with capers and cream cheese

This one’s really simple, but really tasty.


Serves 2




100g John Ross Jr smoked salmon

3 tablespoons of cream cheese

½ small red onion – finely chopped

1 tablespoon of capers – drained and finely chopped

2 bagels, halved



Mix the cream cheese, onion and capers in a bowl and then spread on one half of each bagel. Add half the smoked salmon to each bagel, close with the other half and enjoy.


The smoked salmon trio platter


If you’re looking to add variety to a picnic – and can’t get enough of salmon in all its forms – then this recipe, which includes fresh salmon, smoked salmon and hot smoked salmon, is one for you.


Serves 3




100g John Ross fresh salmon – cooked

50g John Ross Kiln Roasted Salmon

50g John Ross Traditional Smoked Salmon

2 eggs

1-2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Cayenne pepper

3 bread rolls – halved

1.5 tablespoons of cream cheese

½ lemon

¼ cucumber

1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt

1 teaspoon dill – chopped

2 flatbreads (or pitta breads)




Hard boil the eggs and peel after cooling under running cold water. In a bowl, mash the yolk only with mayonnaise, a pinch of cayenne pepper and seasoning.  When mashed, refill the egg whites with the mixture.


Once cooked (and try to do so the night before) flake the fresh salmon onto a platter alongside the prepared eggs and the hot smoked salmon.


Spread the cream cheese onto half of the rolls before adding the smoked salmon. Squeeze lemon juice over the smoked salmon and then add the remaining half of the roll. Cut them in half.


Mix the yoghurt with the chopped dill. Then peel and slice the cucumber and add to the yoghurt. Place the mixture on the centre of the platter and arrange the flatbread around it. You’re now ready to serve.


We also recommend these three smoked salmon recipes, too – the hot smoked salmon picnic loaf in particular.


Enjoy the sun, enjoy the outdoors and, of course, enjoy your Scottish smoked salmon picnic.


For more recipes, offers and competitions check us out on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


Swap chocolate for smoked salmon this Easter

Replace chocolate eggs with healthy fish this Easter

Easter, which is usually a time for chocolate consumption on an epic scale, is around the corner. However, this Easter is very different in as much as we’re all trying to stay healthy and keep our immune systems strong and resilient, which is why John Ross’s smoked salmon boxes and fresh fish boxes are the ideal (and healthy) alternative Easter gift.


A copious amount of chocolate is unlikely to boost your immune system (although, believe it or not, chocolate is said to include immune-boosting qualities), whereas fish contains a plentiful source of healthy fats such as Omega 3 and Zinc, which helps your body’s immune system repair damaged cells.


So, if you’re looking for Easter gift ideas that don’t require you to leave the house during this strange period then John Ross’s fish box is the perfect Easter-gift-that’s-not-chocolate for friends and family – or even as a gift to yourself (and if this isn’t a time for self care then we don’t know what is).


On a more practical level, getting fresh fish and smoked salmon delivered to your door means that you don’t need to venture out of the house, stand outside the supermarket in a long queue or risk going to buy fresh fish or buy smoked salmon only to find an empty fish counter staring back at you.


Whether you’re looking to buck the chocolate trend this Easter, buy healthy Easter gifts or simply want a more practical solution to buying the best quality smoked salmon and fresh fish, then John Ross’s smoked salmon boxes and fresh fish boxes might just be what you’re looking for.


To buy John Ross smoked salmon or choose from a selection of fresh fish boxes, visit out fresh fish box page here.


Could these be the best smoked salmon pancake recipes… ever?

Eggs and flour at the ready as Pancake Day (25 February) is only around the corner. And although we’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: Pancake Day doesn’t just have to be about a squirt of lemon and a sprinkle of sugar, or chopped bananas and syrup. No, Pancake Day is just another excuse to widen your smoked salmon pancake recipe repertoire and discover some delicious savoury pancake recipes.


So, in our bid to give sugary pancakes the elbow and savoury pancakes the credit they deserve, here are our two favourite Scottish smoked salmon pancake recipes for 2020.


  1. Pancakes with smoked salmon and shrimp


Serves 4


For the pancakes:


  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 x teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • ½ x teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 x egg
  • 115ml milk
  • ½ x teaspoon of butter


For the topping:


  • 200g John Ross smoked salmon (separated into 15 – 20 slices)
  • 100g Saint Agur cheese
  • 1 baby gem lettuce
  • 1 x lemon cut into four quarters
  • 25g brown shrimp
  • Red onion jam




Beat the egg in a cup and then sift the flour, cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Combine the two until the batter becomes thick and creamy – but not too thick. Use the milk to thin. Mix well.


Grab a pan and heat with a splash of oil. When hot, drop four spoonfuls of the mixture onto the pan. You’ll know when to flip the pancakes, as bubbles will form. When cooked, place each of the four pancakes on separate plates.


First, add the smoked salmon, making sure that each pancake is covered in a generous helping. Rest a leaf of the baby gem lettuce on top of each before sharing the Saint Agur amongst each lettuce, adding a little red onion jam and brown shrimp. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and serve with the lemon wedge.


  1. Smoked salmon pancakes with spinach and herbs


We first came across this one on the website of one of our customers – Waitrose. It sounded so good that we had to share it. However, as always, we’ve tried to give it a John Ross twist.


Serves 4



  • 100g plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 2 x medium eggs
  • 50g butter
  • 50g spinach
  • Handful of freshly chopped herbs including coriander, basil and parsley
  • 200g John Ross Traditional Smoked Salmon
  • 125g soft cheese
  • Spoonful of chopped chives (to serve)




In a food processer, blitz together the pancake batter ingredients, spinach and herbs.

Heat a large frying pan and pour in the batter. Flip and cook the other side. Place on a plate when cooked and repeat, with three new plates.


When cooked, spread the cream cheese on each pancake and place the smoked salmon on top. Sprinkle each one with chopped chives and roll, before cutting each pancake into ‘sushi slices’ and serving with cracked black pepper and a wedge of lemon.


Share your favourite pancake recipes with us via our Facebook page and Instagram – and have a very tasty Pancake Day from everyone at John Ross.

If you love smoked salmon…

… then you’ll love these Valentine’s Day smoked salmon recipes. Food is the language of love, after all.


But as a ‘starter’ – and before we reveal our top two Scottish smoked salmon recipes for Valentine’s Day – we’d like to share our news that we’ve just launched our smoked salmon for smoked salmon lovers pack in over 300 Waitrose stores around the UK.


Building on our recently rebranded Waitrose pack, which now features a striking white and gold foil block pack design with a blue, saltire-inspired* motif, we’ve added a Valentine’s Day label for a limited time only.


If you love smoked salmon then you’ll love our Valentine’s Day pack – available in Waitrose for a limited time only


The Valentine’s Day pack hits Waitrose shelves this week and will run until 15 February, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates on a Valentine’s Day food competition that we’re planning on launching soon.


Right, then – onto the main course.


These two delicious smoked salmon recipes are guaranteed to get your partner’s heart racing. What’s more, they’re easy to make smoked salmon dishes, so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time… well… enjoying Valentine’s Day.


Smoked Salmon Sushi Bowl with brown rice and toppings (serves 2)


  • 2 x cups of brown rice / sushi rice
  • 1 x avocado
  • 2 x handful soy edamame beans
  • 2 x tbsp sushi ginger
  • 2 x tsp sesame seeds
  • 150g x John Ross smoked salmon




  1. Boil the brown rice according to the packet whilst in another pan boil the edamame beans until cooked.
  2. Place the rice in bowl and top with the avocado, edamame beans, ginger and smoked salmon.
  3. Layer the smoked salmon on top, sprinkle sesame seeds and serve with soy sauce


Smoked Salmon and Fresh Pea Pasta (serves 2)


  • 250g pasta
  • 100ml crème fraiche
  • ½ lemon juice and zest
  • 100g John Ross smoked salmon
  • 100g fresh peas
  • ½ handful of spinach
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta and cook according to the packet, for the final minute add the fresh peas.


  1. Once the pasta and peas are cooked, drain and keep some of the cooking water.

Return to the pasta and peas to the pan and add the crème fraiche, peas, lemon juice and zest.


  1. Toss the pasta until well mixed, put the lid back on to keep the heat in and allow the spinach to wilt. Add the reserved cooking water, 1 tbsp at a time to thin the sauce if it becomes too thick.


  1. Finally, tear up the salmon and add to the pasta, season with salt and pepper and toss again.


*The Flag of Scotland, called The Saltire or Saint Andrew’s Cross, is a blue field with a white saltire. According to tradition, it represents Saint Andrew, who is supposed to have been crucified on a cross of that form (called a crux decussata) at Patras, Greece.

Burns Night smoked salmon giveaway

John Ross Jr's Balvenie Whisky smoked Salmon on a plate
Whisky smoked salmon: the perfect Burns Night accompaniment



Yes, it’s that time of year again: the annual celebration of the life and poetry of Robert Burns, who lived from 1759 until 1796. However, to break the tradition of simply offering you smoked salmon recipes for your Burns Night celebrations, we thought we’d go one better than that and actually giveaway a whole side of whisky smoked salmon to enjoy on 25 January.


Before we get to that, here are some Burns Night facts that you may not know:


  • Robert Burns was only 37 years old when he died, with only £1 to his name
  • Scottish haggis was banned in the US in 1971, when one of its key ingredients – sheep’s lung – didn’t go down the right way with the Department of Agriculture
  • When not crafting poems, Robert Burns was collecting tax as part of his other job as exciseman
  • Robert Burns’ poem, Auld Lang Syne, has been covered by several musical icons – including Mariah Carey – and he has even featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for producing one of the most popular songs of all time
  • Robert Burns fathered 12 children by four women (which may explain his tiny estate!)


So, to help kickstart your Burns Night celebrations and to be in with a chance to win a side of whisky smoked salmon, all you need to do is visit our Facebook page, submit your answer to the question below in the Robert Burns post and tag a friend in the competition.


True or false? Robert Burns was the first person ever to feature on a commemorative Coca Cola bottle


We’ll then draw the winner at random and notify them by 3pm on Monday 20 January to make sure that they get their smoked salmon delivered in time for Burns Night.


Alternatively, if you’re looking for smoked salmon recipe ideas for your own Burns Night celebrations, find out what our favourite Burns Night recipes are here.


Don’t forget to follow @johnrossjrsmokedsalmon on Instagram for recipe ideas, promotions and competitions.