August 26, 2010
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Gravlax, or gravad lax, originated in Scandinavia as a method of preserving salmon. Today it is eaten mostly as an appetizer although I like to serve it as an alternative to lox with Sunday brunch.
1 to 1½ pounds salmon filet
¼ cup kosher salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. or more chopped fresh dill
1 Tbsp. vodka
Rinse and dry the salmon. Remove any pin bones and the skin if it is still on.
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl then stir in the vodka. Rub half the mixture on one side of the salmon. Turn the fish over onto a large piece of plastic wrap and coat the other side. Wrap tightly in the piece of plastic with another piece over it.
Place in a shallow pan just large enough to hold it. Put a small board on top to distribute the weight of a plastic-wrapped brick or other weight. Put in refrigerator to cure for one or days.
When done, pour of the accumulated brine or save for use in Scandinavian sauces. Rinse the remaining curing mixture from the finished gravlax and dry.
To serve, slice very thinly on an angle.
Note: some recipes say that the salmon should be wrapped in cheesecloth instead of plastic wrap so that it gives off more moisture. I haven’t tried that but it sounds like a reasonable alternative method.