Monday, August 30, 2010

Homemade Cured Salmon (Gravlax)

Curing salmon at home isn't as hard as it sounds....really. It takes maybe 5 minutes to put everything together and you can change the amounts up if you like. Now the only hard part at least for me was waiting, you have to wait 2 or 3 days before you can eat it. It was very hard to know that you where making the most amazing food ever and that you couldn't even sneak a taste. Well I guess you could but you may not want to. Shortly after making and then devouring my cured salmon I learned that raw fish may carry tape worm eggs. Because I am paranoid by nature I started worrying about if my salmon had tape worm eggs in also didn't help that Dr Oz had a segment about tape worms.... but that is another story. Anyway upon further Internet searching I found that if you freeze the fish then defrost before you cure it will ensure there are no alive tape worm eggs. But really what are the odds that you will get a tape worm? beside it taste SO good. Now once again this is one of my recipes where the amount you need really depends on how much you want to make and your own taste. So feel free to adjust.

You will need
1 or 2 pieces of salmon
1 bunch of dill
1/3 cup of course salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper corns (Lightly crushed)
the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
1 tablespoon vodka (optional)
Several cans ( to weigh down the salmon)

1) Clean the salmon. Check for bones and carefully remove any. Scale the salmon, since the fish is not whole be gentle and try not to harm the meat.
2) Place the salmon skin side down onto a dish. Sprinkle half the salt and pepper onto the meat, lay the dill over top.

3) Combine the lemon juice and vodka, pour half over the piece of fish.
4) Sprinkle the other half of the salt and pepper over the second piece of salmon.
5) Lay the second piece of salmon over top of the salmon with the dill on it. Make sure you lay the flesh side on top of the dill.
6) Pour the other half of the lemon and vodka mixture over the fish.
7) Cover with plastic wrap. Place cans or jars on the fish, this will weigh it down and aid in the curing process.

8) Place in the fridge
9) Turn the fish over once a day for 2-3 days depending on the size of salmon you are using.
10) Slice thinly.


1) The recipes can be halved. I originally made this with one salmon fillet, I didn't want to make two in case I didn't like the way it turned out.
2) The fish can be basted in the juices that gather at the bottom of the dish.
3) The salmon will still look raw when it is done. It will look just like smoke salmon you see in the super market. So don't worry if after 2 days your salmon is still bright red.

To Serve
1) Toast a bagel and spread with cream cheese, place some sliced red onion and layer with salmon.
2) Cut up several pieces and place over a salad.
3) Serve with crackers and cheese
4) Eat it as is, or any other way you can think of.

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