Following my Thanksgiving blogs, a good friend of RadLinc Crafts, Captain Monkeypants, asked a few questions about the salmon that we had pictured. So, as I answered her, I thought that this was a perfect time to do a blog entry on it. I can't admit to being an expert to making this seeing as how I've only learned about making it (and about what it's called) earlier this year, but we've made it three times and so far so good.
Gravlax is a Scandinavian way of preparing salmon literally meaning “buried salmon.” I guess, back in the day, fresh salmon was buried under dry sand where it was fermented and cured. Nowadays, we can control conditions better by burying the salmon in a mixture of kosher salt, sugar, pepper and dill weed and “curing” the fish in our fridge. The recipe I'm following is taken from this really cool site for foodies called Cooking For Engineers.
The best parts about preparing this dish is it's easy (since you only need 5 ingredient), and it's delicious. The not so great part is that it takes 48 hours before you can taste the goods. So let's get started.
- 1 lb fresh salmon fillet (we used skinless)
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp pepper (I used a 50:50 ratio of white and black pepper, mostly because I had it any combination should work fine tho)
- dill weed (a small bunch from the grocery store works well).
1. Lay down a big piece of saran wrap and place the salmon
2. Mix the salt, sugar and pepper together in a bowl.
3. Cover the salmon with the salt-sugar-pepper mixture... all over, both sides, and on the sides of those.
4. Divide the dill weed into two. Put one half on the top of the salmon and the other half on the under side of the salmon so the salmon is sandwiched between the dill.
6. Now you need to compress it. I used two pyrex dishes and three cans of corn. Stacked like this from bottom to top: pyrex dish, wrapped salmon, pyrex dish, three cans of corn.
8. After 48 hours, take the salmon out, drain the oil, toss the dill and saran wrap, and rinse the salmon really well.
9. Slice the salmon thinly using a fillet knife or an otherwise sharp knife.
We like to eat this on toasted bagels with some cream cheese. Crackers and baguette slices work really well too. This makes an awesome make ahead appetizer or a really good snack.