Category Archives: Food news

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.


Royal wedding smoked salmon

Original Classic Smoked Salmon on plate

It’s almost that time when the streets go eerily quiet as millions of people retreat to their living rooms to watch what is likely to be the most watched televised event of the year.


For those who don’t know (and there really can’t be that many), Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be married in only a matter of days following a ceremony that is due to take place at St George’s Chapel, in Windsor, on 19 May.


And, in keeping with our desire to commemorate such events with a respectful launch of a limited edition product, we’ve created the Original Rum Cured Smoked Salmon, which draws on a 160-year old recipe using rum and sugar cane to create a unique and distinct flavour.


You may remember that we launched this product in 2013 as part of the Coronation Festival – a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Now, five years later, we’ve refined our recipe and believe that we have now created the perfect Scottish smoked salmon product.


If you’re looking to buy smoked salmon for your own Royal Wedding Celebration, then you can buy our latest product for one month only – either here on our own website or, if you live in London and the South East of England, up to 90 Waitrose stores.


However, for this week only, we’re giving away five packs. To be in with a chance to win all you need to do is:


  1. Find our Royal Wedding competition post on Facebook and share it
  2. Follow us on Instagram at @johnrossjrsmokedsalmon.


We’ll be announcing the five winners by the end of the week.

Fun, food and festivities at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Following on from our last blog, where we celebrated this year’s Whitstable Oyster Festival, we’re going to move 450 miles north to celebrate the largest arts festival in the world – The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


Whilst it’s a less foodie-led event when compared with Whitstable’s fresh fish and seafood focus, it is one of Scotland’s key cultural events. In 2015, there were over 50,000 performances of over 3,300 shows in 313 venues.


This year, the festival takes place from 5 – 29 August and as there is so much going on we won’t even attempt to provide listings; you can get that here.


Besides, we’re all about the food.


So, where do you go in-between performances to eat and enjoy some of the finest food Edinburgh has to offer? Those who know Edinburgh well will know that there is no shortage of cafes, restaurants and bars with a wide selection of fabulous food on offer. From pop-up restaurants to Michelin Starred-restaurants, Edinburgh has it all.


To make it easier for you – and to counter people asking ‘where can we buy John Ross Jr smoked salmon in Edinburgh?’, which we regularly get asked in relation to other parts of the UK – we’re going to break it down into eateries where you can buy John Ross Jr smoked salmon.


Macdonald Cardrona Hotel & Macdonald Holyrood Hotel


Will you be enjoying the Fringe Festival for more than one night? If so, and you’re staying at either of these excellent hotels, then you won’t have too much trouble finding our smoked salmon as they generally proudly display it, with a John Ross Jr name check, on their menu.


The Glasshouse Hotel


If you’re fortunate enough to be staying at this stunning five-star boutique hotel, then you will no doubt enjoy the seasonal menus and, weather permitting, picnics on the hotel’s exclusive rooftop garden. As a customer of ours, you’ll no doubt find our smoked salmon during your stay, too.


The Dovecot Café by Leo’s


This artisan café offers a wide selection of stunning food ranging from salads and cakes to sandwiches and quiches. With a sandwich selection that includes hummus, beetroot and carrot with coriander as well as Mull of Kintyre Cheddar, apple and Leo’s tomato chutney, you’ll be spoilt for choice. But if it’s a smoked salmon sandwich you’ve come for, then their smoked salmon bagel with cream cheese and a wedge of lemon will not disappoint.


If you’ve been on your feet all day and fancy nothing more then getting back to wherever you’re staying – and avoiding pacing the streets of Edinburgh to find the three places listed above – then all is not lost. You can find a range of John Ross Jr products at Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.


Will you be going to the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe? If so, share your pictures via our Facebook page or via Twitter.


A mark of Scottish food excellence

John Ross Jr's Managing Director, Christopher Leigh, collects the Fish and Seafood Award for the Balmoral Fillet
John Ross Jr’s Managing Director, Christopher Leigh (centre), collects the Fish and Seafood Award for the Balmoral Fillet


For those of you who don’t yet know, we won one of Scotland’s most coveted food awards on 2 June.


After being shortlisted from 245 entries received from food and drink producers across Scotland for the Scottish Food & Drink Excellence Awards, we were presented with the Retail Award – Fish and Seafood for our Balmoral Fillet.


The Balmoral Fillet is taken from the crown of the fillet of salmon, which forms the most tender and succulent part of the fish. It’s slowly cold smoked in red brick kilns dating back to the 1800s over oak and beech chippings to deliver a melt in the mouth smoked salmon that is truly world class.


Whilst we’re absolutely delighted to be recognised for what is regularly referred to as the ‘jewel of the smoked salmon crown’, we’re also delighted for all the other winners who were recognised for the role they play in shaping the Scottish food and drink industry.


More importantly, we’re delighted that now, more than ever, Scotland is increasingly becoming regarded as a country that offers some of the best food products in the world. In fact, Scotland has almost become a ‘food brand’ in its own right.


So, to celebrate our success and the success of the Scottish food and drink industry as a whole, we’ve decided to offer 10 per cent off our award-winning Balmoral Fillet until 30 June. All you need to do is enter the promotional code ‘0ZIRZUO9FTHX’ at checkout to qualify.


For more information on our award win click here.


And for those who would like to be added to our newsletter and regular offers subscription list, email with ‘SUBSCRIBE’ in the subject heading.

Posh fish and chips

John Ross Jr provides two 'posh' fish and chips recipes
‘Posh’ fish and chips – make an alternative to the familiar cod and chips as part of National Fish and Chips Day

Firstly, who doesn’t like fish and chips? That’s what we thought.

Fish and chips has to be one of those iconic English dishes, which conjures up images of sitting on the beach under the watchful eyes of seagulls or, at the very least, that Friday night treat after a long week at work.

And that’s presumably why the nation is getting ready to celebrate National Fish & Chip Day, which takes place on Friday 3 June.

The day promises to be celebration of the much-loved fish and chips and offer a number of ways in which the UK can display their affection for the dish. Not only that, but also those making a visit to their ‘chippy’ might be able to benefit from discounts made available by fish and chip shops getting behind the day.

And, as a fish merchant (yes, we’re not just a smoked salmon producer) we thought we’d show you how to make fish and chips at home using fresh salmon and our delicious skate wings. So, for those looking for something other than the familiarity of cod and chips, then this may be what you’re looking for.


Salmon in white wine batter                    

Everyone’s heard of beer batter, so why not create a batter using an ingredient that has long been a great accompaniment to salmon – white wine.

This batter’s light, crispy and delicious.


Serves 2




2 x John Ross Jr fresh salmon fillets

100g plain flour

175ml chilled white wine (we would recommend using something dry and crisp)

1 teaspoon of baking powder

Salt flakes

Black pepper

2 large potatoes




Select a pan that’s large enough to cook enough chips for two – and, of course, two fillets.

Fill with sunflower oil up to four inches from the top. Add medium heat.

Whilst it’s heating, peel and chop the potatoes into strips. Add to the oil – but only when hot.

Whilst the chips are cooking, add the batter ingredients in a bowl and whisk, making sure it’s light and smooth in texture. If it’s still too dry then you may need to add another 50ml of wine.

Just before you take the chips out of the pan to drain (approx. 15 minutes) dip the two salmon fillets in the batter, covering all of the fillets. Take the chips out to drain, add the two fillets and cook for five minutes.

Serve with peas (optional) and enjoy.


Battered skate wings


People tend to shy away from skate – so rather than get too clever with the batter, let’s just keep it simple and let the flavour of the skate sing.


Serves 2



2 x John Ross Jr’s skate wings

120g plain flour

1 x egg (large)

Salt (a pinch for the batter mixture)

6 – 7 tablespoons of skimmed milk

2 x potatoes (peeled and chopped into strips)

2 x slices of lemon



Make the batter by mixing together all of the above ingredients (minus the salmon) in a bowl.

Fill a pan (one that’s wide enough to accommodate the skate wings) with around two litres of sunflower oil. Add heat and once hot enough, add the potatoes and cook for around 15-20 minutes.

Prepare the fish whilst the chips are cooking by washing and drying it. Then dip in the batter mixture.

Once the chips are cooked, take out, drain and leave to cool. Then add the skate wings. Cook for around 5 minutes. Take out, serve with the chips and either salad or peas. Finish with a slice of lemon on each plate.

Can you recommend any good fish and chips recipes – or fish and chip shops in and around the UK. Let us know via our Facebook Page or our Twitter handle, @JRJsmokedsalmon.




And the winner is…

Original Classic Smoked Salmon on plate

… John Ross Jr.


After weeks and weeks of having to keep it under our hats, we can now reveal that John Ross Jr has won one of the most coveted business awards that any UK company can achieve; The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2016.


It became official as of today, when the list of beneficiary companies was released to the public, the result of which has generated much interest from the media.


And, of course, it’s no coincidence that the day in which the winners of a Queen’s Award are announced happens to be the birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. And although the annual awards are always announced on the birthday of the reigning monarch, this one is of particular significance. Queen Elizabeth II is 90 today.


Whilst we wish to take this opportunity to express our delight at winning a Queen’s Award, in this case of John Ross Jr’s success in international trade, we would also like to pay our respects by wishing Her Majesty a very happy birthday from everyone at John Ross Jr.


For those who wish to know more about the Queen’s Award, then we can tell you that it was first awarded in 1966 and that we are amongst an esteemed list of winners that includes Jaguar Land Rover Ltd, Dyson, the Cambridge Satchel Company and Mackays. It is also the second time that John Ross Jr has been presented with the award, having received the Queen’s Award for Export in 2000.


In the meantime, for the next day or so we’re going to bask in our own glory and raise a glass, partnered with some of our award-winning smoked salmon, of course.





The Great British Bake Off

It’s that time again! The Great British Bake Off returns to our screens and 12 homebakers once again compete to be crowned the Great British Bake Off’s Best Amateur Baker.

They’ll no doubt be tested to the limits during the process as judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood put them through their paces testing everything from their ability to bake biscuits, pies and tarts to their skills at rolling pastry, creating 3-dimensional desserts and surviving under the pressure of the bake-off tent.

And the nation will look on with a renewed appreciation for home baking and home cooking that will inspire many of us to head into the kitchen and test out our own culinary skills.

If The Great British Bake Off inspires you to get creative in the kitchen, here are some savory recipes you can try, all with a little John Ross Jr. smoked salmon of course.

To test out your pastry rolling skills try this Leek and Smoked Salmon Tart by James Martin. The recipe requires ready-made pastry but you could take the challenge a little further and make your own.

If you’re looking to improve you pie-making skills, try this delicious Smoked Salmon, Dill and Potato Pie from The whole recipe can be prepared and cooked in under an hour.

Great British Chefs has a great Whole Wheat and Quinoa Biscuit with Smoked Salmon recipe if you want to turn your hand to baking some savoury biscuits. For a dairy–free version, substitute the cows’ milk and butter in the biscuits for oat milk and coconut oil, and serve without sour cream.

Or simply take some John Ross Jr traditional smoked salmon, select ingredients from your food cupboard and set yourself the task of seeing what you can create with them!

Let us know what you create during Series 6 of The Great British Bake Off over on our Facebook page.

Taste of London 2015

It’s almost time for the largest networking event in the UK’s foodie calendar: Taste of London. Running from 17th – 20th June, Taste of London brings together the very best of the food and drink industry.

Building on the success of last year’s event Taste of London 2015 is expected to be bigger and better. Expect Michelin quality restaurants, live cooking demonstrations and top chefs including Marcus Waring and Michel Roux Jr, as well as rising stars like Ella Woodward from

sandwich with smoked salmon and tomato on a wooden table

Guests will also have the opportunity to taste a range of dishes from an impressive 40-restaurant line-up offering cuisines from British, Spanish and French to Japanese, Chinese, Mexican and more.

The Daily Special Restaurant – new for 2015 – will allow guests to taste different dishes each day from selected restaurants including Lyle’s, The Dairy and Michel Roux Jnr’s Diner.

It’s a celebration of one of the world’s most vibrant food scenes set in the relaxing backdrop of London’s Regents Park. There’ll be DJs, live music and the opportunity to enjoy a cocktail or two, or a glass of champagne.

As champagne is the perfect accompaniment to smoked salmon, naturally we recommend you attend the Champagne Masterclass by Laurent-Perrier, one of the most distinguished family-owned Champagne Houses.

The masterclass, hosted by Master of Wine David Hesketh, offers guests a ‘fun champagne experience whilst learning to choose the optimum champagne for any occasion.’

To find out more about this summer’s festival and to book tickets visit the Taste of London website.

London West End Restaurant Week 2015

With its theatres, shops and coffee bars London’s West End is a hub of activity with plenty of offer holidaymakers and day-trippers alike. When it comes to fine dining you’re spoilt for choice with the area offering a range of cuisines from Italian, Japanese, Indian, French, traditional British dishes and more.

To celebrate the West End’s increasingly vibrant food scene, restaurant booking website OpenTable are running London West End Restaurant Week from May 13-24th.Appetizer with rare fried tuna and salmon on restaurant table64 restaurants are participating including Fera at Claridge’s, Ten Room at Hotel Café Royal, The Savoy Grill and Michelin-starred Maze Gordon Ramsay, all offering a variety of special deals to diners. Enjoy champagne cocktails; four course menus, a wide selection of deserts and fine wines.

As a supplier to many of London’s top eateries, we’re delighted that many visitors to the capital will get the much sought-after opportunity to eat in some of London’s most popular restaurants. There’s also the chance to check out some of London’s newer restaurants and discover some hidden gems.

Naturally we recommend smoked fish and meats and our Scottish smoked salmon, best served generously with your accompaniment of choice and enjoyed with a glass of your favourite fine wine.

Of course if you can’t travel to London for West End Restaurant Week you can try out one of the recipes on our blog, including Salmon En-Croute and Smoked Salmon Tortilla, and treat yourself to a relaxing evening at home.

Visit OpenTable to book your table for London West End Restaurant Week at participating restaurants.

A Foodie’s Christmas: Unique Kitchen Gifts

Do you and your loved ones enjoy cooking, eating out and all things food related? Then get inspired for your Christmas shopping this year, using this list of unique kitchen essentials for the foodies in your life.

1.    Digital Kitchen Scale Measuring Jug – £22.99

Digital Kitchen Scale Measuring Jug(image: © Argos)

If you are looking for a practical or multifunctional gift, a digital kitchen scale measuring jug is perfect. This allows you to measure and weigh ingredients at the same time, in both metric and imperial units; so no more tricky conversion maths for busy Christmas chefs.

2.    iPad Stand – £38

iPad Stand(image: © Etsy)

There is nothing worse than dropping ingredients on your iPad when following a recipe. Keep it clean, safe and easy to read with a handy iPad stand.

3.    Citrus Juicing Spray – £5.99

Citrus Juicing Spray(image: © Drink Stuff)

We love a little bit of citrus to accompany our smoked salmon, but too much can be overwhelming. Get the balance just right with this handy spritzer. Simply pierce the fruit with perforated edge and spray juice directly from the fruit.

4.    Unspillable Whiskey or Wine Glasses – £14.99

Unspillable Whiskey or Wine Glasses(image: © Amazon)

Never worry about spilling a drink again with these unspillable whiskey or wine glasses. The cone shape bottom means the glass rotates on the spot if tapped, so it won’t fall. And with a simple design these glasses will look like they belong on any table.

5.    Salmon Carving Knife – £17.99

Fluted Carving Knife(image: © knifeco)

No chef’s arsenal is complete without a salmon carving knife. This specially designed knife will assure super-thin slices of salmon and smooth, clean cuts with minimal effort. Why not gift a salmon carving knife with one of our fresh Scottish salmon?

6.    An Engraved Chopping Board – £39

An Engraved Chopping Board(image: © Make Me Something Special)

Add a personal touch to a frequently used item by having a chopping board engraved. Whether you add the cook’s name or a special message, any budding chef will adore this thoughtful gesture. Just make sure any detail is done on the side to avoid a cleaning nightmare.

7.    Deco spoon – £14.99

Deco spoon(image: © Amazon)

These handy tools allow you to draw on a plate using sauces or jus, to create an edible masterpiece. Make your culinary dishes look like fine art using only the best high quality ingredients, and adding a special touch with a deco spoon.

8.    Gourmet Trotter Luxury Mobile Hamper – £399

Gourmet Trotter Luxury Mobile Hamper(Image: © Gourmet Trotter)

We think our smoked salmon makes a great addition to any summer picnic, so get prepared for next year with this beautiful mobile hamper. With dedicated sections, and attached wheels, this is a convenient and luxurious hamper for only the finest of dining in the sun.

So what do you think of these food-inspired Christmas gifts? We’re sure your friends and family will love them. For an edible gift, buy smoked salmon from John Ross Jr. or take a look at our Christmas product selection. Why not buy them all and build your own festive hamper?