who knew it was so easy to make your own...the hardest part is waiting the few days for it to cure...patiently waiting and flipping it over every 12 hours wondering "is it done yet?"if you're a fan of LOX, need more fish in your life or just want to save some $ money you should really try this at home. i must say i was quite impressed with myself. i've always paid big bucks for this salmon that i considered a Sunday brunch delicacy. it was only around for the special occasion. well, i have now rid myself of that silly myth. this is too easy. salt, sugar, dill and a few days is all you need. i've made it twice in the last 2 weeks. as a matter of fact, i might just make it again this week. it may very well become a staple in my fridge. i've been so wrapped up in all this PORK stuff lately that it's been a nice change to open the fridge, grab a sharp knife and slice off a lovely pink slab of fresh cured salmon. i need a kind of a Yin Yang effect. i have to have something to balance out all the meat, pork, frog legs and turkey tails i've been consuming. i've even tried TOFU ! (i'll be posting about that soon.)
there are a few ways to prepare Gavlax, but i found a common thread in all the recipes i looked at. fresh salmon, salt, sugar, dill(optional),sandwich them together and cure for 48-72 hours.
adapted from Modern Beet and quite a few others i will list for you to check out.
2 lbs. of fresh salmon
a note about the salmon...buy 2 pieces equal in size, or one large to cut in half so you can sandwich them...ALSO, upon further investigation i found a few sites that suggest freezing the salmon for 72 hrs to be sure to rid any bacteria if not buying sushi grade salmon. sushi grade is very expensive. i did not do this the 1st two times and i'm not dead yet, but i DO have my next batch in the freezer right now. i'm curious to see if the freezing effects the texture.
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/8 cup white sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1-3 tsp fresh ground pepper
5-6 sprigs fresh dill
Remove all of the pin bones from the two salmon filets using a pair of tweezers. Trim the filets so they are the same size when stacked on top of each other. Place both filets skin side down on a cutting board.
Mix sugar and salt together in a small bowl. Generously sprinkle about 2/3 the mixture over the filets and gently rub in. Flip the filets over and sprinkle skins with the remaining mixture and rub in. Flip the filets again so the skin side is down. Let stand for about 5-8 minutes. Brush off any cure that seems excessive to you.
Trim dill so that it is roughly the same length as the filets. Mound dill on top of one filet in an even layer, then top with other filet so that the flesh is in contact with the dill (think filet & dill sandwich). Wrap the stacked filets tightly in a double or triple layer of plastic wrap. Place in a dish (to catch any juices that should leak out). i used a tupperware...alot of juices will come out and leakage would NOT be a good thing. ALSO, alot of recipes call for a weighted object placed over the filets. i used a tinfoil/plastic wrapped brick. ..anything semi heavy and flat. most recipes call for this. then refrigerate for 2-3 days, flipping occasionally, and pouring off any juices that might have accumulated.
Once the 2-3 days have passed, unwrap salmon, discard the dill, and rinse the filets with cold water. Remove the skin to make cutting easier, if desired. Slice the gravlax thinly with a sharp knife across the grain to serve. Enjoy!
*Note: though it may seem counter-intuitive, choose fish that has been previously frozen, sushi grade or other. If using fresh fish, you should freeze it for at least 1 week in order kill off bacteria, etc.
a few other sites i checked out might be of interest....
this 1st one is on youtube...funny and super EASY, but i don't know about leaving it on the kitchen counter for 18hrs. and NOT in the fridge?