Oh wow, this is so easy ! you gotta give this a try !
Gravlax is a Scandinavian classic and is so simple to make at home. Gravlax is raw fish cured (or cooked) in a sugar and salt mix. Traditionally it was made by making a ‘grave’ for the salmon in the ground, covering with salt and dill or pine needles and burying so that the weight of the earth assisted in extracting the liquid from the fish.
The taste and texture is similar to smoked salmon and therefore can be subsituted in any dish you would normally use smoked salmon.
I recommend using sashimi grade salmon. I bought a few fillets which had been skinned from my local fish shop. There are recipes that provide measurements to the ingredients but really I don’t think you need to bother measuring. Just use your eyes.
If you buy salmon with the skin on, its no drama. Once it has cured, you can easily peel off the skin. You can experiment by increasing or decreasing the sugar and salt ratio.
Traditionally gravlax is served with a sweet mustard vinaigrette OR dill and sour cream mix, along side rye bread or a crispbread. (There are gluten-free crispbread options on the market).
Alternatively, the gravlax is excellent for breakfast with scrambled eggs. Delicious as a snack on toast (or crispbread) with avocado or try serving with a crunchy salad of rocket, radish, fennel and purple onion.
Sashimi grade salmon fillets
Coarse sea salt (rock salt)
Bunch of fresh dill
1. Using a glass or ceramic jar (not metal) scatter over a handful of sea salt – I used rock salt.
2. Sprinkle generously with some sugar over the salt. (you could use any sugar, but I liked the granular nature of raw sugar).
3. Sprinkle a few juniper berries, if you have them in your pantry – don’t worry if you haven’t got them.
4. Chuck a bit of fresh dill over salt/sugar, using your fingers to break apart the fronds.
5. Place the salmon on top.
6. Cover the fish with more salt, sugar, and juniper berries.
7. Sprinkle over some Absolut Vodka (ok any vodka would work, but Absolut is Swedish)
8. Top with loads of dill and then cover the lot with plastic wrap.
9. Place some foil weights on top, or as I did, a glass dish and weigh down with cans of food.
10. Leave for 24-36 hours and take off a slice and taste it. It should be ready, like smoked salmon without the smoke flavour !
11. Remove the fish from dish. Use paper towel to wipe down and remove all the brine, cure mix, bits of dill and juniper berries.
12. Put aside in the fridge until ready to serve. It will keep for about a week, refrigerated. I store mine in vacuum food saver bags, with some extra fresh dill tips in the bag.
13. When ready to serve, slice fish thinly as possible. I like to chop a little dill and press into the fish before slicing, as it looks appealing on the edges.
13. Serve with a vinaigrette – made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, fresh dill, and a little dash of honey.
Alternatively, serve with a mix of fresh dill, lemon juice and sour cream.