Cured, not smoked
Of all the DIY foods, this Scandinavian specialty is one of the most satisfying.
Just look at it! Ok, besides the vibrant prettiness, the process doesn’t take much time and doesn’t need much of your attention. So far so good right?!
Give fresh salmon a sprinkle of a magic mixture of sugar, salt, and herbs. A few days in the fridge, and it will transform into a gorgeous, flavorful brunch dish.
Gravlax is very similar to lox, but gravlax is usually cured with fresh herbs and spices (unlike lox, which is left plain). Gravlax is never smoked.
This never disappointing Salmon Gravlax recipe is definitely one to try over the weekend for those amazin’ decadent, 4-hour, lazy Sunday breakfast brunch lunches.
2 center-cut pieces (1 pound each) skin-on boneless salmon, both cut from the wide, thick end of a fillet
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 bunch fresh dill sprigs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup capers
1 lemon, cut into wedges
REMOVE PIN BONES
Place salmon (flesh side up) on a cutting board. With your fingertips, feel along the flesh if there are any fine pin bones. Use tweezers, or another pincher to gently pull them out.
MIX CURING MIXTURE
In a bowl; Combine the salt, brown and granulated sugar, and fennel seeds. Mix well.
SPRINKLE HALF SALMON WITH HALF CURING MIXTURE
Sprinkle some of the curing mixture down the middle of a (12-inch) glass/ceramic baking dish and sprinkle some of the dill on top. Set one of the pieces of salmon (skin side down) on top of the salt mixture.
Sprinkle half the remaining salt mixture and half of the remaining dill over salmon. Press lightly so the mixture sticks.
Set the other piece of salmon (skin side up) on top of the first piece. Lay the second piece so that the thicker part of the top piece sits on the thinner part of bottom piece. Forming flat, even rectangle. Sprinkle remaining salt and dill mixture over the top.
COVER AND PRESS SALMON
Cover the whole dish with plastic wrap. Set another, smaller baking dish on top of the salmon and weight it down with two heavy cans, or any other heavy weight.
Refrigerate and cure for 2 days. Flip the salmon after 24 hours, so that top piece is now on the bottom. This helps salmon cure evenly.
RINSE MIXTURE OFF
When ready to serve, remove salmon from baking dish. Some liquid will have collected on the bottom. With cold water, rinse salmon well. With your fingers, rubbing off curing mixture. Dry the fish well with paper towels.
Set one of the pieces of fish (skin side down) on a cutting board. Using a very sharp knife, slice the fish as thinly as you possibly can while holding the blade at an extreme diagonal. Do the same with the other piece of fish.
SERVE YOUR GRAVLAX
Arrange slices overlapping on a platter, curling them as you set them down. Sprinkle: with red onion, capers, and remaining dill. Garnish: with lemon.
Leftovers will keep for about a week.