Gravlax is one of Nordic cooking's greatest gifts to the world. You take a salmon fillet, cure it in salt, sugar and fresh dill, and in a few days you have a a terrific stand-alone appetizer, a topping for your Sunday bagel, or an inventive new twist on a sandwich meat.
The providence of gravlax makes it even cooler. The dish's history can be traced back to Swedish fisherman, who would salt their catch and bury it near the shore to ferment it. "Grav" means is a grave or a hole in the ground in the Scandinavian languages, and "lax" is salmon. Any way you translate it, gravlax is delicious.
- 1 (approx. 3 pound) salmon fillet
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon
- 2 bunches dill, chopped
- 1/2 lemon
1. Remove the pin bones from the salmon and score the skin.
2. In a bowl, mix the sugar, salt, and pepper to make the cure mix.
3. Place a large piece of cheesecloth on a sheet pan. Place half of the chopped dill on top. Sprinkle half of the cure mix over the chopped dill. (The layer should be slightly thinner where the fillet tapers to the tail.)
4. Place the salmon skin side down on top of the cure mix. Squeeze the lemon juice over the salmon flesh and sprinkle with the remaining cure mix and dill.
5. Wrap the salmon in the cheesecloth.
6. Place the salmon in a solid hotel pan. Top the salmon with a second hotel pan. Press down with a 6- to 8-lb/2.72- to 3.63-kg weight.
7. After 3 days, unwrap and gently scrape off the cure; you can rinse the salt off with warm water. Sprinkle some chopped dill on top and let dry for about 2 to 3 hours The gravlax is now ready to use or it may be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 5 days.