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Recipe File: Gravlax
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Dutch (guest)
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:59 am    Post subject: gravlax,gravadlax, whatever Reply with quote

I have been making Gravlax for years and find that a 60% sugar and 40% salt mix works best for me. I also find that many recipes end up tasting too strong of dill. A friend gave me a variation using a light sprinkling of Lapsong soochong (smoked) tea,insted of dill, before applying the salt sugar mix then a sprinkle of Aguavit or vodka. I use the wieghted version of prep as I too prefer the texture and this recipe is my favorite now. I have served it in my restaurant and to people at a wedding all, to rave reviews. Over the years I have seen many variations and tried quite a few. One with Tequia and cilantro(fresh coriander) in place of the vodka and dill was memorable.
If yours is too salty for your taste you should not reduce the salt too much as it is vital to the "cure" and is needed to extract the liquids. Try wiping it clean of the seasoning or even rinsing then patting it dry with a clean cloth then a good honey-mustard sauce should not foil your efforts again.
Hope this helps.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three decades ago, I had a Jewish girlfriend. One of our joys was going to the deli on Sundays (before the Christians got out of church) and gobbling latkes and Nova Scotia lox.
Thirty years later, I'm Asatru, and hankering to make gravlax; my lust for cured salmon hasn't diminished one whit.
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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 4:11 pm    Post subject: great site! Reply with quote

Big smile My son came home from college, who is a science major and showed me this site--well done! And, the Mother's Day brunch was awesome! Thank you!!
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Deken
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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2006 6:41 am    Post subject: Gravlax Reply with quote

I've made Graxlax several times but have a question about the salmon itself. Living here in the northwest we have access to varied species, and the debate rages as to which makes the best gravlax.
Some say King (chinook) is best, others vote for Silver Salmon, many say they prefer Sockeye. There is also Chum.
Any comments from those with experience??????
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like making gravlax from either Atlantic or Pacific salmon. For me, the key is that it is wild, not farmed. There IS a difference.
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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an Alaskan who has made Gravlax several times (including the quick method where one pre-slices the salmon before doing the mix) I like to use silver salmon (aka Coho) as it is more delicate than other varieties of salmon, but does still have a firm flesh, unlike pink salmon. Sockeye is also good but is a bit firmer flesh, but I prefer to use it for other fresh salmon dishes. King salmon (aka Chinook) is much too oily and has a very firm flesh which makes it more appropriate for fresher salmon dishes like sushi, or a quick grilling. I've never used chum salmon for anything, and to clue you in on why, it's nickname here in AK is dog.

I've also used vanilla extract and/or lemon juice instead of an alcohol. I've also used dried dill and it's not such a awful compromise in taste. This summer I'm looking forward to trying lime juice.

Also, for those that are squeamish about "raw" salmon, or if it's too salty, I'd suggest soaking their serving pieces in fresh lemon juice for a bit of time to "cook" it for them.
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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.adn.com/static/multimedia/salmon/2/index.html
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Raymond in Bangkok
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 6:43 pm    Post subject: Thailand recipe Reply with quote

HI folks

I'm always looking for new ways to prepare fish, and nothing is more tasty than a gravelax dish with rye bread and sliced red onion (cappers are a treat, too). I am a teacher in Bangkok and from Canada where I learned about making gravelax using local rainbow trout, steelhead, and landlocked salmon. All the recipes I have read here are fantastic. What I would like to comment on the complaints of saltiness and curing time. The saltiness comes from (as you would probably know), the salt that you apply onto the actual flesh. If your gravelax is coming out too salty, it is because you are putting too much cure agent onto the fish. You only need to sprinkle the salt - sugar mixture lightly onto the fish. What many don't realize is when you are sprinkling the cure mixture onto the fish, the salt and sugar quickly desolves causing you to think that you are not putting enough on. Your fillet does not need to be painted white with the cure mixture. Be confident with your first application and try that. Once you have treated the fillet with the specified amount of cure mixture, wrap it up and prepare it for cooling.

I still believe that weight is an important factor with the curing process. I have tried bricks, stones, cutting boards, and even old phone books. Let me tell you all, nothing is better than a water balloon. After you have prepared your gravelax for the cooler, get a medium sized garage bag and fill it over half way with water. Tie it off and place it directly onto your fillets. It is best to use a roasting pan so that the sides of the pan will contain the bloated bag. The weight of the water is evenly placed all around the fish, compared to a brick that only rests on the high side of the fillet. The water bag will evenly diplace weight around the fillet giving it an ideal curing pattern. Try it, you will be surprised with the difference.

I hope this tip finds you in good health. God bless

Raymond
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 4:06 pm    Post subject: gravad lax Reply with quote

Hi
About the debate on where this delish dish has gotten it's name from. The latin name for dill, the herb which you cover the salmon with while curing, is "Anethum graveolens". Could perhaps that name reveal something about why it's called gravad lax or gravlax? ;-) Lox, by the way, would come from the scandinavian languages' word for salmon, which is lax, for anyone who's interested.

/Tobias
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
On May 17, 2006 at 7:29 PM, GaryProtein said...
I like making gravlax from either Atlantic or Pacific salmon. For me, the key is that it is wild, not farmed. There IS a difference.


All Atlantic salmon are farmed. Atlantic salmon is an extinct species in the wild, so the only ones which remain are farmed ones. They are an ideal farming species because they are the most agressive and are pushed to grow faster than they should.

Aside from the taste, there are very good ecological and health reasons to purchase wild salmon rather than farmed.
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pixel
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:41 am    Post subject: Gravad Lax Reply with quote

Using fresh dill increases the chance of infection from bacteria from the earth in which the dill was grown. I use dried dill for the process, fresh dill for the mustard/sugar/oil sauce. I use 1/3 salt, 2/3 sugar, 1/6 pepper for the pickling process. I'll use a salt from the Danish island Laesoe next time. Has a fantastic flavor. It's 10 times as expensive.

A variation: Use fennel seeds and Noilly Prat as an addition to the basic recepe. 2 times the amount of pepper. 2 tablespoons of Noilly Prat.

Next time I do this dish I'll try the cheese cloth method. I heard somewhere that packing the fish in plastic can be a problem, no oxygen gets to the fish and some bacteria are anaerobic.

Freezing fatty fish: pack them in water, the frozen fish will last longer(3-9 months) in the freezer as opposed to packing in air(1-2 months).
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Pixel
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:46 am    Post subject: addition Reply with quote

In the paragraph on "variation" I wrote "2 times the amount of pepper" but forgot to add "fennel as of pepper".
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Pixel
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 5:32 pm    Post subject: freezing fish Reply with quote

A misunderstanding might arise in my previous posts.
Freezing fish in water applies only to fresh fish, not prepared fish. I've frozen Gravad lsalmon and smoked salmon packed in plastic film and plastic bags. Max. 2 months before the fish gets an aftertaste from the skin.
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Raymond in Bangkok
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 4:45 pm    Post subject: Cheese Cloth Reply with quote

Cheese cloth sounds like an excellent idea and one that I will try next time. I have often considered something that would allow the cure to breathe and plastic or tin wrap don't allow this. Commenting on using fresh dill, which I feel is better than dried, a simple wash before applying onto the fillet works well. What you want to do first is air dry the dill after washing. This will make sure that moisture is removed. Farmed or wild salmon? Raised in Canada, I have never seen wild salmon on the market. The only wild salmon I used were the salmon I caught. In Bangkok I purchase the farmed salmon from Norway. It's great for my needs and tastes very similar to the wild salmon that I caught back home (referred to as land locked salmon, a strain from the Penobscot River in Maine). Just remember that farmed salmon are fed with pellets mixed with antibiotics. Wild fish such as steelhead, rainbow trout, and salmon will always make the best gravlex.
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Raymond in Bangkok
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:54 pm    Post subject: Avoid Cheese Cloth Reply with quote

Regarding to the post on using cheese cloth instead of plastic wrap, I have tried it and can not recommend it now. I thought at first it would be a good idea to have the gravlax ~breathe~ during the cure time, but what really happens is that the crucial cured liquid is obsorbed into the cheese cloth. I have done some research on ancient gravlax recipes and most encourage using the liquid as part of the curing process. The gravlax that I produced using cheese cloth with a 48 hour plus 12 hour cure time came out rather raw tasting and more saltier than previous done with more traditional recipes.

Regarding a previous post about freezing smoked or cured salmon. If you feel about a bitter after taste, remove the skin before making gravlax or pre-slice it and wrap it (layer it) on waxed paper before covering it in plastic or tin wrap for freezer storage. It works great.
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