Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Home-made gravlax

OK, so getting back into flogging is a slow process, but I am doing my best to remember to post. Fortunately, or not depending on your situation, lox is also a bit of a slow process. This should give me enough time to think of something else to post about. We'll see.

For the lox:
Find a nice piece of salmon. Preferably sockeye and it is best if the fish has been previously frozen. This is not only a safety issue. I have made lox with fresh salmon and am still here to flog about it. I have no scientific evidence to back it up but I am of the belief that it is more likely the stress and panic of eating raw/cured foods that leads to illness. Anyway...
The real reason for using previously frozen fish is that it means that the fish was flash frozen straight out of the water. As opposed to 'fresh' fish which probably has traveled for days before reaching your market. This is not always the case though so do be sure to source from a good vendor and do not be afraid to ask where they get their product and how it has been handled.
Back to the lox. This process takes about three days start to finish but it is very easy and much cheaper than purchasing prepared lox.
Start with as much salmon as you want to cure. Fillet the fish if not already done and remove all of the bones, including those annoying, little pin bones running through the fillet.

Mix up a cure; equal parts kosher salt and sugar and one third part of freshly ground black pepper. Use one tablespoon of salt for each pound of fish. In other words this will be two and one third tablespoons of the cure mix per pound. Sorry, I tried to think of a more confusing way to word that but that was the best that I could come up with.
Spread the cure over the fish, using a bit more on the thicker parts and a bit less on the thinner parts. Make sure to put some on the skin side as well.
For traditional gravlax place a large bunch of fresh dill on top of the fish, flesh side and then wrap the whole thing in a double layer of plastic wrap. Store in the fridge in another container to catch the juices. Flip the fish every day or so. It is cured when the thickest part of the fish is a bit firm, about three days.

That is it. Very easy and super delicious. Slice it thin and top bagel of your choice. Or serve it on an english muffin with a poached egg and bearnaise sauce. Use your imagination (and your slicing skills!)

Have you made this before? Leave us a comment or send a photo.