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The last time my parents visited, my Mom showed me how to prepare Gravlax (Swedish: "gravad laks", German: "Gravad Lachs"): Salmon cured with sugar, salt and dill.
The recipe is remarkably simple, and since then, I have made this dish many times. You just need a nice raw skin-on salmon fillet and a plastic container, ideally with a lock-on lid. After curing for a few days, it is best served with a special "mustard-dill sauce for gravlax" and bread. Gravlax makes a wonderful starter but (with enough bread) it can also provide a full meal.
- 2 lb / 1kg raw salmon fillet (skin-on, scaled). After trying various varieties of salmon, I've settled on steelhead.
- 2 tbsp coarse salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 bunch of dill, coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp dried dill
- 3 tbsp cognac
- Mix salt, sugar and freshly ground pepper
Cut the fillet in half.
- Place one half-fillet skin-down in a plastic container.
- Cover with the salt-pepper-and-sugar mixture.
- Distribute the chopped dill and the dried dill over the fillet.
- Place the second half of the fillet on top, this time skin-up.
- Pour cognac over the fillets.
Weigh down the fillets. I found it is best to use a plastic container with a lock-on lid and place a smaller container upside down on top of the fish before putting on the lid. See pictures below.
- Cure in the refrigerator for a few days. Turn fillets about once a day.
- When finished curing, prepare the mustard-dill sauce for gravlax.
- Cut the fish into thin slices. Serve with the sauce
- After curing and slicing, gravlax freezes very well. Just make sure to thaw carefully and slowly (in the refrigerator).
Preparation time: ca. 30 minutes plus 2-3 days of curing time
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