|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 14g||18%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||14%|
|Total Carbohydrate 3g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 4mg||21%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Gravlax is the Scandinavian-style cold-cured salmon appetizer served thinly sliced with a mustard-dill sauce drizzled on top. Although it may seem like a complex process, gravlax is surprisingly easy to make at home with this recipe. The curing mix, which includes salt, sugar, and pepper, is enough for 4 to 6 pounds of salmon. You can reduce or increase the quantities for smaller or larger fillets.
Because of certain parasites found in fresh salmon, it is important to buy sushi-grade salmon or purchase commercially frozen salmon and thaw before use, as freezing for several days will kill any microorganisms present in the fish. You can also freeze the completed gravlax at no higher than -10 F (-23 C) for seven days.
"This homemade gravlax is both easy and economical. I used Alaskan sockeye salmon that had been flash-frozen on the fishing boat. Dill is optional but I found that its flavor was integral to how much we enjoyed the salmon. After curing, I removed the skin from the fillets to make slicing and serving easier." —Danielle Centoni
2 (2- to 3- pound) skin-on salmon fillets
1/4 cup aquavit, or vodka
1/3 cup fine sea salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill, optional
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Rinse the salmon fillets and pat them dry thoroughly.
Use tweezers or pliers to pull out any pin bones, if necessary.
Drizzle the aquavit or vodka evenly over the flesh of each fillet.
In a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar, and pepper.
Divide the mixture into 3 even piles within the bowl.
Divide one of the thirds of curing mix in half and place on a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan in the shape of one of the fillets.
Lay a fillet skin-side down on the mixture. Spread a third of the curing mixture on the flesh of that fillet.
Spread the remaining third of the curing mixture on the flesh side of the other fillet. Sprinkle the dill, if using, over both fillets.
Lay the second fillet flesh to flesh on the first fillet. Sprinkle the remaining curing mixture over the skin of the top fillet.
Cover the fillets and baking sheet or pan with foil or plastic wrap. Place a cutting board or second baking sheet on top of the covered fish and top it with something heavy (cans, pots, or pans) to weigh the fish down. Place it all in the fridge and let chill for about 12 hours or overnight.
Remove from the fridge, unwrap, and discard the accumulated liquid in the pan. Turn over the fillets so the bottom one is on top.
Cover the pan, weigh down the fish again, and return to the refrigerator. Let chill another 12 hours.
The fish is now cured and ready to serve, but it will continue to benefit from another 12 to 24 hours of being weighed down and chilled, so feel free to repeat these steps a second time around.
When ready to eat, pat dry, and thinly slice the gravlax against the grain using a very sharp knife. Serve and enjoy.
How to Serve Gravlax
- This recipe makes enough gravlax for a large gathering but is easy to cut in half if you want to make a smaller amount.
- For a bit of a kick, try adding 2 tablespoons of freshly grated horseradish to the curing mix.
- With its juniper, citrus, and botanical notes, gin would also work well in place of aquavit or vodka.
How to Store
- Gravlax will keep, covered and chilled, for up to a week.
- It also freezes very nicely, wrapped well in plastic wrap, for about a month; let defrost in the refrigerator.
Do You Need to Rinse Before Serving?
Unlike other foods that are cured or brined, gravlax does not need to be rinsed before slicing. Serve as is or gently scrape off the cure mixture first.
What's the Difference Between Gravlax and Smoked Salmon?
What distinguishes these two types of salmon is the method used to prepare it. While gravlax is ready once it's left to cure in a salt and sugar mixture, smoked salmon is first cured and then slowly cooked in a smoker, resulting in its distinctive flavor.