Updated: May 21, 2019
Gravlax is a traditional Nordic preparation of the salmon's belly that is cured in a sugar-salt-dill brine for 2-3 days. After the salmon has been covered with the salt mixture, it is weighted down to help extract excess water.
Traditionally, the salmon was buried in sand so the weight of the sand would press the salmon and aid in the moisture removal. Today, the salmon is more commonly weighted down in a dish or on a cooking sheet, then at the end of each day, the liquid is drained off.
In addition to the brine, older recipes call for adding akvavit (a Norwegian vodka), juniper berries and horseradish. When making gravlax at home, I add a little fresh ground white pepper to have a mild peppery kick.
Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers. -Herbert Hoover
Due to current unsustainable fishing trends, over 80% of the salmon used in the USA is farmed and wild salmon is becoming more scarce. The better quality of salmon you purchase will affect the overall flavor of your finished product. I always advocate for sustainable sourcing of your seafood. Choose seafood that's fished or farmed in ways that support a healthy ocean.
The following are links to an app and website to find local businesses that serve and carry sustainable seafood.
Did you try this yourself? Post a photo and tag @allthingsastred!
Variations and related recipes? Yes, please! Not-Your-Average Lox Bagel Macaroni & Cheesy Bechamel Smoked Salmon Vegan Style Smoked Salmon, Lox & Gravlax - What's the difference? (Easy recipes for each!)