April 14, 2012


Gravlax has been on my culinary to-do list for awhile.  It is a cold-cured salmon with a mixture of salt, sugar, spices, and fresh dill.  I love smoked and cured salmon but I've always been a little wary of doing it myself.  One for the raw to cooked without heat and two for the amount of fridge space you need for a project like that.  But I saw it done on Love and Olive Oil and then saw salmon on sale while I had the apartment and fridge to myself for the weekend.  I followed the signs, put on my big girl pants, and got to curing!

This was simple to set up.  I used my coffee grinder to buzz up some carraway, fennel seeds, and white, green, and pink peppercorns and combined it with sugar and salt.  I caked it on the salmon then juiced half a lemon over each filet to help the curing mix stick.  I sandwiched fresh dill between my two 0.7 pound filets and wrapped up the salmon in a few layers of saran wrap.  They sit in there for 48-72 hours, flipping every 12 hours.  Pro tip - use a larger than you think container for holding the salmon to catch any juices that seep out!

When it was cured, I washed off the curing mixture and sliced it thinly.  I schmeared a little cream cheese on toasted bread, topped with the gravlax, and added the typical bagel and lox accompaniments (lemon, capers, thinly sliced red onions, horseradish, etc).  For about a half hour of actual work, you get a great home cured gravlax perfect for breakfast!

Adapted from Love and Olive Oil
2 salmon filets (0.7 pounds each), skin on
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons whole carraway seeds
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon pink peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon green peppercorn
1 lemon
big handful of dill

Grind up the seeds and peppercorns in a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle.  You should end up with about 2 tablespoons of ground spices.

Add to the salt and sugar.  Spread half of the mixture over each filet.

Juice the lemon over the salmon and then rub into the salt mixture.  Top one of the filets with the dill, then top with the second salmon, cure side down.  Wrap with plastic wrap tightly and place it in a large container in the fridge.

Flip the salmon every 12 hours.  It will done in 48-72 hours.  Unwrap, wash off the cure mixture, and slice up thinly.

Store in an air tight container.  It will keep for about a week, but probably won't last that long!

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