So I’m on a curing and preserving kick. Mostly so I can make a frankfurter that is palatable, but I’m not quite there yet. So far you’ve read my review of Charcuterie, but I haven’t posted any recipes derived from that book, or the other book I have yet to review.
While some curing recipes call for complicated procedures and hard to acquire ingredients, I thought I’d share a relatively easy, popular, and inexpensive recipe for gravlax.
The names are related; “lox” is Yiddish for salmon, “laks” is Norwegian for salmon.
Gravlax (and lox) is salmon that’s been cured with a salt and sugar mixture. Traditionally, it’s flavored with dill, but that doesn’t mean we can’t add some more interesting flavors.
Dry off the Fish
Blot the fish dry so the cure can stick to the fish better.
Adding the Cure
Add the salt and sugar mixture along with any other seasonings you want to use. There is black pepper and coriander seed in the photo. Cover the fish liberally with the cure, top and bottom. The skin will harden, making it easier to handle once it's done.
Add the Flavoring
Cover the fish with chopped dill. You can add lemon juice, but take care not to use too much, you could cook the fish with the acid.
Wrap the Fish
Use liberal amounts of plastic wrap to cover the fish.
Pressing the Fish
Press the fish between two pans to express the moisture. You're going to do this for four days, so make sure you don't need the pans for anything.
Weight the Pans
Put a heavy weight on the top pan and tie it down tight. Every day, drain off the liquid that collects in the bottom tray.
The Finished Gravlax
And I do mean finished! Okay, so after four days, unwrap the fish, scrape off the herbs and flavorings, and slice thinly. It takes a little practice, but the truth is it won't be around very long anyway no matter how you slice it.