Gravlachs: Sockeye Salmon Cold-Cured with Fresh Dill

Total Time:
72 hr
Prep:
72 hr

Yield:
24 servings as a canapi

Ingredients
  • Fish:
  • 1 frozen Alaska sockeye salmon
  • 2 tablespoons course kosher-style salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon course-crushed black pepper
  • Fresh dill
  • Mild Mustard-Dill Sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons wheat flour
  • White vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 3 tablespoons whipped cream or artificial substitute
Directions
  • Thaw sockeye salmon that has been frozen for at least 1 week. Remove backbone and ribs, but leave the skin. Combine salt, sugar, and pepper in a small dish, then rub into flesh of each fillet, making sure to spread mixture uniformly. Layer dill over 1 fillet, then replace the other fillet on top. Put stacked fillets in a flat-bottomed glass or ceramic casserole pan large enough to allow fillets to lie flat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place another dish or a clean cutting board about the same size as the fillets, over the top of the fillets. Make sure the dish/board doesn?t touch the sides of the lower pan. Place a 3 to 5 pound weight on top to compress fillets. Place in refrigerator to allow a marinade to start forming. Once a day, flip fillets, ensuring both are well soaked in marinade. Replace the plastic wrap and weight, then return to refrigerator. After 4 to 5 days, the process is complete and the gravlachs will be ready. The weight flattens the fillets, and the loss of moisture produces the distinctive firm texture of lox.

  • The gravlachs can be eaten right away. Or slice into halves or thirds, wrap securely, and freeze.

  • To serve, cut thin slices but leave skin behind. This is generally easiest if the gravlachs is still slightly frozen.

  • Mild Mustard-Dill Sauce: Combine mustard, sugar, and flour, then add enough vinegar to make a thick sauce. Add 1 tablespoon of mixture to mayonnaise, then stir in chopped dill and whipped cream. Present in a small dish with a serving spoon alongside the gravlachs.

  • Serving Suggestions: Serve atop wafer crackers or melba-style toast with cream cheese, finely chopped onions, capers. For a more traditional twist, serve mild mustard-dill sauce.


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