Salmon Gravlax Recipe

Cured Salmon Gravlax Recipe: Fast & Crazy Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 kg / 2 lb salmon, sashimi-grade, remove bones and skin on
  • 1 tbsp white peppercorns (whole)
  • 1 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped (a big bunch)
  • 250g / 8 oz rock salt
  • 250g / 8 oz white sugar

Mustard Sauce

  • 1/2 cup / 125 ml heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup Dijon Mustard (or hot mustard if you want a kick)
  • few fresh dill, (very tiny chopped)
  • Sea salt and ground pepper – (according to salmon)

To Serve

  • Rye bread slices or other bread/crackers
  • Lemon wedges
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped (for garnish)
Cutting Salmon Gravlax at 45 degree angle
Cutting Salmon Gravlax at 45 degree angle

What is Gravlax?

Gravlax is actually a dry brine method with a certain amount of salt and sugar combination, the product is cured and removed the liquids of it contains, adding an incredible texture and aroma to the cured product. It is probably the easiest cooking method and luxurious food in the world! For this homemade Cured Salmon Gravlax recipe, you can make it using either a small fillet or a whole fillet of salmon. The most important part the fillets must be sashimi-grade, have balanced fat streaks and bright and fresh salmon color.

The beauty of homemade salmon is that you can control the salt yourself. Thus, the product is not too salty and you get fresh aroma flavors that you would never find in a packaged product. Are you ready to enjoy this delicious start to your own home?

What Does Gravlax Taste Like?

Gravlax tastes like a cross between salmon sashimi (imagine it with the addition of seasoning from salt plus fresh herb flavour), and the smoked salmon slices you buy at stores – but minus the smokey flavour (because smoked salmon is made by smoking salmon).

Equal parts salt + sugar (combined) 50% of the weight of the salmon.

Best Salmon Gravlax Formula

How to Make Gravlax?

The biggest problem you may have is over-salted salmon. Therefore, the ratio of salt and sugar balance is the most important factor. If you have a nice salmon fillet with bright sashimi quality and oil balance, we can start the process.

You should pay attention to the dry curing time of salmon to salt and sugar ratio is absolutely equal throughout the product. While some recipes use 750g salt + sugar mixture per 1 kg of salmon. Some recipes use 175g of salt + sugar for less dry brine. Curing times vary between 12 hours and 3 days.

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In this recipe, we will tell you the Cured Salmon Gravlax Recipe with the right salt and sugar ratio:

Difference Between Gravlax and Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon and gravlax are actually quite similar in flavour and texture in that they both have a moist, silky texture that is “raw-like”, rather than hard like jerky or cooked. But the big difference is that smoked salmon is made by smoking raw salmon at a low temperature which infuses the salmon which smokey flavour which gravlax does not have.

Why Make Your Own Cured Salmon??

Making your own Cured Salmon Gravlax costs a fraction of store bought. But regardless of the savings, the thing with store bought – even from the really good speciality stores – is that it just doesn’t have the same fresh dill flavour and it’s usually too salty, presumably to increase shelf life.

Homemade is always best. And in this case, store bought is truly incomparable!

You can get sashimi-grade salmon at most fish mongers here in Australia (at least in the coastal areas). That’s the single most important requirement for this recipe. Once you have your salmon, it’s 5 minutes of effort.

Instructions

  • rush peppercorns with the side of a knife (or roughly grind using mortar and pestle).
  • Combine peppercorns with salt, sugar and dill.
  • Place 2 large pieces of cling wrap on a work surface, slightly overlapping. Spread half the salt mixture in the shape of the salmon.
  • Place salmon on salt, skin side down. Top with remaining salt mixture.
  • Wrap with cling wrap. Place in a large dish. Top with something flat (like small cutting board) then 3 x 400g / 14oz cans (“Weights”).
  • Refrigerate for 12 hours. There will be liquid in the dish. Turn salmon over (will be gloopy/wet)), then replace Weights and return to fridge. After another 12 hours, turn salmon over again, replace Weights. After another 12 hours, remove salmon from fridge. 36 hours total for Medium Cure – Perfect Gravlax to my taste (See Note 2 for description and more curing times).
  • Unwrap salmon, scrape off salt then rinse. Pat dry. If time permits, return to the fridge for 3 – 12 hours uncovered (dries surface better, lets salt “settle” and permeate through flesh more evenly).
  • Sprinkle over the 1/4 cup extra dill – for garnish and flavour.
  • Slice thinly on an angle, do not cut through skin (i.e. don’t eat skin). Serve with toasted bread, Mustard Sauce, extra dill and lemon wedges.

Mix ingredients, making sure to season with salt and pepper. It should taste like a creamy mustard – a touch of tartness, but mostly to add moisture to the dish. You can add lemon juice and/or zest if you wish – I like to serve with wedges so people can adjust to their taste.

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