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Recipe File: Gravlax
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Charlie
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:23 pm    Post subject: Gravlax Reply with quote

I have been making gravlax for years using the basic principles given here. Some tips:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly, then briefly wash the filet in cool water and pat dry. Next, I wash the filet with brandy or any neutral spirits (skip the dark highly flavored whiskeys) prior to curing. I do this by putting the filet in a large baking pan and pouring the alcohol over it, again, patting it dry before adding the salt and sugar cure.

2. Always use skin on filets to avoid the saltiness..curing both sides is too much!

3. The thin tail end will always be salty. I start serving from the thick end, and usually end up having the salty thin end left over. I use that sauteed for an omelette or scrambled eggs later.

4. I have tried many methods of wrap. The vacuum food saver bag is by far the easiest and most uniform method with consistent results

5. Farm raised slamon is by far oilier than wild...in fact I prefer the taste ..the wild salmon tends to get dry during curing..no purist here.

6. For winter celebrations I use the straight cure- 48 hours, in summer for barbeques I use only half the cure time, add a liberal dusting of fresh ground black pepper after washing, and then do a flash smoke on a soaked cedar plank on my grill or in my smoker, using hickory dust. I do not allow the fish to "cook". It is wonderful and is always requested when I ask what I can bring to a party.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm on my second batch of Gravlax from this recipe. I might want to reduce the salt a bit, but I'm still getting my sea legs, so to speak.

I have a vacuum sealer, so what I did this time was to take two fillets and sandwich the dill in between, then slide the whole thing into a bag and sealed it up. I'll report back in a few days. :-)
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chillywit
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great recipe, thank you! My observation is that slicing the fish thinly makes a HUGE difference in the saltiness sensation. It tastes perfectly seasoned if it's sliced paper thin like in the photo. Thick slices (e.g., sushi thickness) makes it taste almost too salty.
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Lasse Rasinen
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:56 am    Post subject: Weights and curing Reply with quote

Quote:
I should probably mention, at this point, that many recipes call for the use of bricks or heavy weights to be placed on the salmon package. Some recipes also call for turning the package over every twelve hours to redistribute the juices. Both of these steps seem to be unnecessary. It may be blasphemy to say so, but you can achieve perfectly cured gravlax without the weight and without the turning.


This will depend on the thickness of the fish. I did two batches this year. The recipe was similar to yours, except I'm a traditionalist and had two fillets against each other, used weights and turned the fish every day (for three days)

I had about 1 kg of fish in both cases, and based on the pictures, they were a lot thicker than yours, maybe 3-4 cm.

The first batch was pressed down really hard, with strings that were tightened after each turn. By the third day, the thickness of the fish had been reduced by about 25%.

The second batch had "only" 1.2 kg of weights on top of it. It didn't compress noticeably.

The first batch had cured throughout and had proper firm-jelly texture. In the second batch, the bottom 1 cm of the fillets hadn't cured completely and were a bit chewy.

Also, the first batch had produced a lot more brine during the process.

So, with thicker cuts, weights (or strings) are very important.
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antonio



Joined: 04 Jan 2010
Posts: 1
Location: Lisbon

PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: More on gravlax Reply with quote

I do it often with 6 kg salmon (2 pieces of 2 kg each after cleaning)
I use 1 kg of sea salt (fine grit) and 500 g white "normal" sugar, mixed with 40 g fresh tarragon, 40 g fresh coriander and 40 g fresh peppermint all minced, 10 g coriander powder, zest of 1 lemon and zest of one lime, 1 tsp of black pepper (if I canīt find fresh tarragon I use dill instead), and small amount of smoked salt (10g for 2 Kg salmon)
Just lay the salmon skin down on a tray to collect the water and oil , spead the smoked salt over the flesh and then add the mixture above on the top of the fish. Put some aluminium foil over it and a couple of cans to press the filet. You donīt need any plastic because there is no smell at all with this mixture. Put it on the refrigerator for 2 days and it's done. Take it off, wash with running water, dry with paper and cut thin, discarding the first slice because it's too salty. For a bigger piece of fish it can take 3 days. Serve with 2 sauces: a mixture of Dijon and whole mustard (ā l'ancienne) and creme fraiche with dill, lime zest, chopped challot or spring oignon and parsley.
With the other alf (if you are giving a party) replace smoked salt for 40 g of curry powder and eliminate tarragon. Now you have 2 totally different marinated fishes.
Bon appetit
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:37 pm    Post subject: Honey instead of sugar Reply with quote

If using honey instead of sugar, will it interfere with the curing process? I think the bacteria needs the sugar as food to ferment and am wondering if honey can be food for the bacteria as well. A bit of chemistry here.
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oenothera@kingcon.net
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject: Japanese Cured Mountain(Brook) Trout Reply with quote

I'm looking for a recipe for a cured trout that I ate in the mountains in Japan about ten years ago. Sweet and a little salty, lifted with umami, eaten with pickled ferns and mushrooms, after a warm bowl of local udon. I live in Northern Vermont and want to use local trout and native spring greens to interpret that dish. Any know how to make japanese cured brook trout.
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Patricia
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:47 am    Post subject: Meat cured like Gravad lax Reply with quote

Has anyone tried doing venison the same way? I use vodka with the salmon recipe and it is great. Any storage problems envisaged with the meat?
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TamyD
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got a Russian version from a friend and have taken a whole salmon, scaled, cleaned and sliced open right down the middle and packed two cups of salt and one of sugar mixed together inside. Closing it like a sandwich I finished the rest of the mixture by coating the outside. The fish was then put in a plastic bag and shaken, taken out and any bits of salt and sugar put back inside the salmon. Wrap tight in cling film and leave in the fridge for three days. Wash thoroughly, slice carefully and... eat! As I have just put mine in the fridge, am not sure how it will turn out.
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vildo
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject: gravlax for selling Reply with quote

Hi. i have become a big fan of gravlax and i think it might sell well in my country (argentina, we have good chilean salmon)as a ready to eat gourmet appetizer. Vacuum packed and all. But i wonder how the home-made method differs from the more industrial way. Iīve been in england, and they have a 100g packs of gravlax- maybe they use more substances like (nitrite?). iīm worry but shelf time, couse with out vacuum, my gravlax last 7 days (tops). Itīs too short time. i must sell really quick to be viable-

thanks.
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doomio
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:37 am    Post subject: great post and comments Reply with quote

I went on an Alaskan cruise this summer and there was a cooking demonstration and the Swedish chef did gravlox. I jotted down the ingredients then and today finally got around to making it. After doing so, I thought I'd search the internet to see how the recipe compared to what the internet said and stumbled upon this site. Apparently, the cruise ship's chef has a nontraditional take on it and I thought I'd share it here since nobody has posted anything quite like it. He didn't give ratios or amounts to these so I just made it based on what I remembered it looked like a few months ago.

He did a whole salmon, and left the skin on both sides and sandwiched them with the meat in the middle. This is what was inbetween the fillets: He did say equal parts salt and sugar generously on each side. He had fresh cracked black pepper, probably a few T of good vodka, a bunch of lemon and orange zest (I used 4 large lemons, 3 blood oranges and 2 navels), a couple T of fennel seeds and a handful of star anise, diced celery, and a good amount of dill and parsley. He said you can change up the herbs or seeds/spices to your taste, but I did it as he did.

He didn't say anything about freezing before or after making it, but as advised above I'll put it in the freezer for 3-4 days after to be sure, after which I'll report back!
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1008
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>freezing salmon

salmon can carry parasites that affect humans - freezing is one method to reduce the risk of transmission but do note the required time/temp:
-4F / -20C for seven days or -31F / -35C for 15 hours.

few home freezers can provide the -31F temps, so you'll like want to use the seven days.

ref:
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/ManagingFoodSafetyHACCPPrinciples/Operators/ucm078063.htm

and for households with pets, raw fish/salmon can be dangerous to fatal for pets:
http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/must_cook_salmon_for_dogs.htm
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guest
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:09 pm    Post subject: gravlax Reply with quote

I finally tried my hand @ this. My first experoence eith "lox" was @ aFour Seasons tasting event and I fail in love. I do however like the taste of cold smoked better. Mine turned out just like the. Picture..perfect! However I hated the dill and it was very oily and sticky..why? Anyway I am going to keep trying until I find a flavor I like. I love this receipe because it gave you measurements for any size peice of fish.a lot of the comments were redundant but interesting. I do believe we need to get back to learning "basics" and how to do things @ home. Thanks for a great site. Cynthia in Texas
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1008
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>>However I hated the dill and it was very oily and sticky..why?

the dill is a traditional / conventional flavoring - you can swap it out with something else or leave it out altogether.

on the oily/sticky - did you rinse the lox prior to service?
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brenda
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: gravlax storing Reply with quote

I will be making for the first time for christmas. What is the longest time allowable for curing and the best way to store leftovers. Will it last a week after curing? TIA
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