Gravlax, or Scandanavian cured salmon, is truly a breeze to make. Patience is necessary as it must sit in the refrigerator for 3-4 days until it’s ready to slice.
You’ll definitely impresss your guests when you reveal that this beautiful, sliced gravlax was made in your own kitchen. Check out how to make gravlax for your next breakfast or brunch guests!
How to Make Gravlax
Our 4th of July menu was anything but classic Americana fare: Brazilian cocktails, Scandinavian cured fish, grasshopper pie, plus something to throw on the grill. Certainly a mish-mash of recipes from across the globe. But I had my reasons for such a menu…we gather with our neighbors each Independence Day for a pitch in dinner and fireworks.
It’s the perfect time to test out some recipes for the blog, like this gravlax. My friends, unlike my family, will eat anything and they are so proficient at giving me quotable reviews. This is definitely an improvement over the “good stuff” or “you don’t have to make this again” that I get from my crew. Plus they are actually interested in HOW to make gravlax, not just eating it!
The first gravlax recipe goes back to the Middle Ages when fishermen salted salmon and buried it in the sand to ferment. Nowadays, salmon fillets are coated with a salt and sugar mixture then topped with dill sprigs. Mine received a sprinkle of Cognac before hanging out in the fridge for half a week. The fillets were weighted down (I used two cast iron popover pans), then flipped every 12 hours…and the salmon is eventually cured via osmosis.
Tips for Making Gravlax
Minimal ingredients plus an easy recipe make this a must make dish! The only requirement is patience as it will be 3 days before you can dig in!
- Use high quality salmon. I go to my fish monger instead of the grocery store for the best, freshest salmon available. I find grocery store salmon can be mushy and you do not want those results.
- Be patient. The salt mixture needs time to penetrate the seafood. It is worth waiting for!
- Put reminders on your calendar or phone to flip your salmon every 12 hours. I often place mine in a basement refrigerator, and can forget when it’s out of sight.
- Use what ever you’d like to weight down the salmon, bricks, a cast iron skillet, even books. The pressure helps keep the salt and sugar mixture in close contact to the fish.
I knew I had a winner when one of my guests commented, “Great smoked salmon,” with Bill chiming in, “I hope there’s more of this.” Yes, Mr. Picky Pants was eating raw, cured salmon…whoa. Maybe he will eat fennel again one day…or mint…or nuts…or pineapple. I can dream, can’t I? I’ve also made terrific canapes with Dorie Greenspan’s gravlax recipe.
Please scroll down to see all the marvelous home preserved recipes from my friends!Print
How to cure salmon with salt and sugar!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 20 servings 1x
- Category: Seafood, Appetizer
- Method: Curing
- Cuisine: Scandinavian
- 4 pounds boned salmon fillets, skin on
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 3 bunches fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons Cognac
- Wrap baking sheet in plastic wrap, then line with parchment. Place fillets baking sheet, skin side down. Remove any bones.
- Mix together pepper, sugar and salt. Sprinkle over fillets. Place dill over salmon, then drizzle with Cognac.
- Cover with plastic wrap, then top with another baking sheet. Place a heavy object on top of the second baking sheet (I used cast iron popover pans).
- Every 12 hours, flip the salmon pieces and cover with new plastic wrap. Continue for a total of 3-4 days.
- To serve, scrape off dill and spices. Pat dry. Slice thin pieces on the diagonal.
Inspired by recipes from Emeril and Julia Child
Total time is 3-4 days for curing.
I’ll be unplugged for the next week…reading, boating, hiking, swatting mosquitoes and toasting marshmallows over our evening campfires. Feel free to leave questions or comments…I”ll check them out upon my return. Be sure to visit the blogs below to see how they Preserved the Harvest: Cool Condiments: Chow Chow Relish from Magnolia Days Homemade Hot Dog Relish from Juanita’s Cocina Fabulous Fruits: Apricot Ginger Jam from Happy Baking Days Banana Jam from Killer Bunnies, Inc Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream from Gotta Get Baked Blueberry Lemon Basil Jam from Daily Dish Recipes Candied Watermelon Rind fromWhat Smells So Good? Fig and Strawberry Jam from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner Mixed Berry Rhubarb Jam from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks Mulberry Jam from Curious Cuisiniere Quick Peacharine Chutney from Shockingly Delicious Pineapple Upside Down Cake Freezer Jam fromCookin’ Mimi Strawberry Butter from The Urban Mrs Other Outstanding Recipes: Fireweed Jelly fromThe Foodie Army Wife Flavoured Butters from Small Wallet, Big Appetite Gravlax fromThat Skinny Chick Can Bake Vivacious Vegetables: Corn Cob Jelly from Blueberries and Blessings Deep South Dilly Beans from Eat, Move, Shine Fermented (Sour) Pickles from Growing Up Gabel Fire Roasted Salsa fromPeanut Butter and Peppers Hot and Spicy Giardiniera from The Messy Baker Hot Italian Giardiniera from Healthy. Delicious. Jalapeños en Escabeche (Pickled Jalapeños) fromLa Cocina de Leslie Oi Kimchi (Korean Cucumber Kimchi) from kimchi MOM Refrigerator Dill Pickles from Country Girl in the Village Spicy Sweet Tomato Chutney fromFood Lust People Love Traditional Escabeche (Pickle) fromBasic N Delicious