Cured Salmon Gravlax – fresh salmon cured in salt-sugar-dill mixture and cured in the fridge for that silky, firm and flavorful fish. A luxury food at half the cost of any store-bought version that will surely impress your family and guests!
This Scandinavian style cold-cured salmon gravlax is something that captured my interest when I attended a friend’s party a few months ago. It just looked so fancy when served atop on bagels or crackers. That silky firm and flavorful slices of deliciousness is an absolute mouth-watering experience.
Hence, I scoured the internet for the perfect flavor combination that is also SIMPLE to make. And lo and behold my homemade cured salmon gravlax masterpiece. You only need S-I-X simple ingredients (including the salmon) to pull off this amazingly fancy yet easy-to-make and versatile dish.
What is Cured Salmon? What is Gravlax?
Cure, a Latin word for curare which means to take care of, is an old food preservation and flavoring process of foods such as meat, vegetables, and fish that involves salt, nitrates, nitrite or sugar. This process draws out the moisture out of the food which makes the food impenetrable from any microbe growth that causes spoilage.
Our technique for today is a Scandinavian-style of cold-curing called Gravlax.
Gravlax is a traditional recipe of curing un-smoked salmon using sugar, salt and tons of dill. Vodka or any liquor in general is also another ingredient that is often added to a gravlax cured salmon to bump up the flavor. This kind of method uses something to weigh down the salmon while it’s being cured in the cold to help draw out the moisture and impart the flavors more quickly.
How Does it Taste?
Making your cured salmon at home isn’t that hard after all! PLUS it costs a fraction it’s store-bought counterpart which is truly an added bonus. This homemade cured salmon gravlax isn’t too salty nor too full of dill flavor. The flesh is not overly cured, which you can see by how moist it is, but cured enough to be easily sliceable into thin and firm pieces of fish toppings.
Tip: Avoid using table salt or iodized salt as these types have the smallest grains that could make your salmon crazy salty. I’d recommend you go for Kosher Salt and not those super refined ones. Same goes to using sugars, too.
Is Cured Salmon Gravlax Safe?
A rule of thumb when it comes to cured salmon gravlax is to handle it as you would sushi which translates to keeping it cold and keeping your work surfaces and hands impeccably clean. Be sure to buy good quality salmon fish from a reputable seller. Remember, curing doesn’t make a bad fish better or safer to eat.
Tip: I highly recommend following this recipe to a T to ensure proper results.
How To Store Cured Salmon?
To keep it all safe, you must treat finished gravlax as a fresh product. Consume it on the day it’s served or keep it well wrapped and refrigerated and use it within a few days – about 3-5 days. Freezing it is not a very good option as it will dry out the salmon. But I would love how to hear how it turned out for you if ever you tried freezing these.
More Easy and Delicious Fish Recipes
- Grilled Salmon Recipe
- Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
- Fish Fillet in Cream Sauce
- Fish Stew
- Southern Fried Catfish
How To Make Cured Salmon Gravlax
Combine sugars, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and mixed until they are evenly combined. Wash and pat dry salmon and lay it flat skin side down on a flat surface. Generously sprinkle with sugar-salt mixture on the top of the fish (the flesh).
Then top it with the chopped dill. Wrap with a transparent plastic paper and place flat on a tray. Use heavy objects such as heavy pot, cans or cast iron to place on the salmon. Place in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
Take out the salmon. There will be some liquid in the tray so do not be alarmed. Wash off dill and salt mix, pat dry . Lay flat on a tray and place in the refrigerator again for another 24 hours to air dry.
Take it out, use a sharp knife cut thinly into ¼ inch slices, discard skin and serve.
Cured Salmon Gravlax
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2-2 ½ pound salmon
- 1 bunch of fresh dill
- Combine sugars, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and mixed until they are evenly combined.
- Wash and pat dry salmon and lay it flat skin side down on a flat surface. Generously sprinkle with sugar-salt mixture on the top of the fish (the flesh) then top with the chopped dill.
- Wrap with a transparent plastic paper and place flat on a tray. Use heavy objects such as heavy pot, cans or cast iron to place on the salmon.
- Place in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
- Take out the salmon. There will be some liquid in the tray so do not be alarmed. Wash off dill and salt mix, pat dry .
- Lay flat on a tray and place in the refrigerator again for another 24 hours to air dry.
- Take it out, use a sharp knife cut thinly into ¼ inch slices, discard skin and serve.
Tips & Notes:
- Salmon can stay cured for about 3 to 5 days if stored in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator. For further preservation place in the freezer.
- The curing process dehydrates the fish, removing the liquid and killing any bacteria that may cause spoilage.
- For the most delicious end result, make sure to buy the very best quality pink, fatty piece of salmon you can find.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.