[WIP] Gravlax 🗝
✍️ DRAFT - NOT FINAL ✍️
✍️ This is a *Draft Document*. If you have feedback or editing ideas please do share in the comments below! ✍️
Gravlax is luxurious, easy & tasty. It tastes like a mix of sashimi & smoked salmon and takes about 10 minutes of active time to make. (Assuming you don’t try to butcher & de-bone the fish yourself, which will add significant time investment)
While seemingly complex and reserved to advanced chefs, is surprisingly easy, versatile, healthy & delicious. Additionally, by making it at home you can save yourself considerable spend. Homemade gravlax costs a fraction of store-bought smoked salmon. Additionally, because it does not need to have a long shelf life
So what is gravlax? It’s a fish cured by salt & sugar. Curing is a unique process that draws moisture of out foods such as meat, fish and vegetables. It does this by adding salt to the item. In the case of gralax you balance the salt with sugar & herbs. If you want, you can also throw in a shot of vodka. This process makes it challenging for bacteria to survive, and thus preserves the food. It also makes it significantly easier to slice thin, which is virtually impossible with raw salmon.
Gravlax can last about 7 days in the fridge before losing its fresh flavor & texture, but can be freezed for up to XYZ months. Because it is such a versatile addition to a wide array of foods (e.g., bagels, sandwiches, salads, grain bowls) it’s worth giving a shot. Think of it like a can of tuna in that it’s handy, virtually fool-proof, & packed with protein, but also like a jar of caviar - silky, bright & luxurious.
Sugar - 15% of salmon by weight
Salt - 15% of salmon by weight
Vodka or Gin (optional)
Rinse & pat dry the fish with paper towels.
Use tweezers or pliers to pull out any pin bones (if necessary)
Mix equal parts kosher and sugar. Measure out cure at ~50% the weight of the fish.
Add herbs/flavorings (optional)
Drizzle the vodka evenly over the flesh of each fillet
Coat the salmon evenly. Use ⅓ cure below, inside & on top. Stack skin side down & up.
Wrap/cover with saran wrap (ensure sealed).
Add some weight on top (e.g., small cutting board & cast iron pan)
Let rest for desired time in fridge (24-48 hours). Turn every 12 hours.
Clean off (rinsing works well)
Slice with a very sharp knife against the grain. Serve & enjoy. 😋
📝 Notes, Tips & Tricks:
One of the best things about home curing is that you can determine the level of salt and sugar you want to use. Recipes vary tremendously - using 6oz to 1.5lb of cure mixture for every 2lb salmon
If you plan to use less than 1lb slightly increase the amount of cure as the surface area ratio increases
Same goes for cure times - they range from 12 hours to 3 days.
Gravlax differs from smoked salmon (aka lox) in that it is not smoked, nor cooked at a low temperature. This means that it lacks the smoky flavor, and is often less salty as well.
Gralvax can be made with frozen salmon (in fact, most fish mongers would recommend you flash freeze the salmon for 24 hours to ensure it is rid of bacteria)
Light cures (24 hours) last for about 3 days. Medium cures (36-48 hours) last for ~4 days. Hard cures (72 hours) last for 5 days. The harder the cure the tougher the texture (think sashimi texture vs jerky).
Keeping the skin on leads to a slightly less cured fish, but makes it easier to carve
Gravlax can be frozen for 3 months. Same goes for store-bought smoked salmon & lox.
Bread: Bagels, rye, pumpernickel, toasted baguette, challah, crackers
Flavorings: lemon, dill, salmon roe, cream cheese, mustard cream sauce
Cure flavorings: lemon zest, horseradish
🎓 Further Study
✍️ This is a DRAFT DOCUMENT. If you have feedback or edits ideas please do share in the comments below! ✍️