Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I mentioned in my last post that something about fall makes me want to pickle stuff... like beets and fish and whatnot.  I kind of made a point of not talking too much about my Gravlax, after all I posted about the same thing about a year ago but there seemed to be some interest in my cured fish.  Add to that, nobody really read anything I posted a year ago  So I thought I would stop for a second and talk about gravlax.

Gravlax translated literally from Scandinavian is:

Grav= literally grave, more correctly, "hole in the ground"
Lax= Salmon

A salmon would be covered in pickling spices and buried in the sand for several day to cure   The process I use is very similar except I use fancy-pants modern equipment like a refrigerator, a bread pan and plastic wrap.

The first thing to overcome is the fish... it is not cooked, it never will be.  You have a couple of choices here either use sushi grade salmon from someone that you trust or make sure that it has been commercially frozen (technical talk coming up) at least 10 degrees below zero for at least 72 hours  That takes care of those annoying parasites.

OK, now that your fish is ready it is time for the curing mix... I use a mixture of Kosher Salt and Sugar mixed half and half then I add fresh ground pepper, I don't measure.   How much you ask? I am not really sure... it looks like this:

Then I add fresh dill, again how much?  I don't know until it looks like this:

If you want to add any flavors now is the time I have added a splash of rum or tequila for fun, or another herb would work it is really up to you.  This time I sandwiched two salmon steaks together and wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap.  It seems that no matter how carefully or tightly I wrap these there is this gooey liquid that makes its way out of the wrap that is why I always cure these in a bread pan. It takes about three days in all, I turn the salmon over every  morning before I go to work.  After three or four days unwrap rinse it off and you are set.


  1. Nice one Bryan, a great explanation of gravlax, I haven't made it for a few years, however I do remember vodka and wasabi might of played a part.
    Hey a guy came into the cooking school yesterday from Chicago, so I talked his ear off. He loves cooking and is going to visit my old working place Union pizzeria- hey you should go check it out!

  2. Very cool! I have never made gravlax but always found it interesting to read about the traditional methods. We love to put gravlax on just about everything. Yours looks gorgeous!

  3. hi bryan thanks for step by step !!Cheers from Paris Pierre

  4. I have never made or tried this before. Can you believe that sad fact? This sounds delicious, and I'm sure it would be wonderful with a fresh bagel or a loaf of bread. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your kind words on my blog. You are a sweet heart!

  5. I keep seeing gravlax pop up here and there on the blog horizon, and keep saying I should attempt it. Maybe I should put my actions where my mouth is on this one...