I only wish I had started curing my own salmon earlier! Matt bought a beautiful 3 pound salmon filet for us last week. I divided it in half and baked one part with the traditional lemon, dill, and sea salt, which sustained us with 2 delicious dinners this weekend.
The other half rested in the fridge over the long weekend before it magically became GRAVLAX (or salt cured salmon), which will comprise my lunches for the week. The entire cost of these 4 indulgent salmon dinners and 4 healthy lunches for the week was $16- the affordable cost of the fresh salmon. That’s about the same price of the largest package of smoked salmon at Whole Foods.
If you’re not convinced yet, just look at how quick and easy the curing process is! I’ve included all the tricks and tips I’ve learned along the way below within parentheses. Get ready for melt-in-your-mouth salmon!
To cure your own salmon gravlax you will need…
- A 1-2 pound salmon flank
- 1/2 cup of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
- 1/8 cup of black pepper
- a serrated knife
- plastic wrap
- Take your raw salmon flank and cut it (longways) into 2 equal pieces. (Make sure the size is relatively consistent in thickness and width because the thinner pieces will get tough and overcooked, like salmon “jerky”)
- Mix all of your seasonings together (If you want the smoked taste, then use “smoked” salt. We prefer gravlax without smokey flavor, so we use regular coarse sea salt)
- Generously rub spice mixture into the meaty part of your salmon flanks and place one on top of the other (meat to meat; not skin to skin) Think, “orange on orange!”
- Wrap your salmon in plastic wrap tightly ( It’s easier to lay it in the middle of a large piece of plastic wrap on a table to begin wrapping like a gift)
- Once your salmon is wrapped, place it on a large platter that will not overflow as oils and juices collect under fish. On top of this platter, you will add another platter, plate, or cookie sheet that covers the salmon. (stay with me, friends!)
- Once the plastic-wrapped salmon is covered with two plates or cookie sheets (one on bottom, one on top) put it in the fridge and stack something heavy on it to create pressure. This is important because it drains the salmon of its raw juices. (I used cans of beans one time, and large glass pyrex containers of leftovers another time)
- Wait patiently for 3 days while your salmon “cooks” in the fridge!
- On the 3rd day, remove salmon from plastic wrap and slice thinly for your desired gravlax thickness (I’ve found that a serrated knife works best for this!)
- Store your Gravlax in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week! Serve with thinly sliced red onion, capers, or this delicious
Paleo Dill Mustard Sauce
For an excellent addition to your Gravlax, Mix together:
2 Tablepoons of Dijon Mustard
3 Tablepoons of apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon of honey
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Handful of fresh, chopped dill