from one generation to the next
A traditional Scandanavian method of preserving fresh salmon, thin, luxurious, silky slices of gravlax make a glamorous starter, or an hors d’ouevre topping alternative to smoked salmon. There are many recipes to make gravlax, I have tried several.
From experience, too much salt will make the salmon hard but too little and the salmon will be “fishy”. I have tried making gravlax with whiskey, gin and vodka. The white spirits, which don’t overpower the subtle salmon flavour are my choice. If I use gin I add crushed juniper berries to the cure, and replace the lemon thyme with dill, for a more traditional gravlax better suited to a cooler climate.
This gravlax formula is the result of much refinement, a perfect balance of salt, sugar and citrus, a fresh complement to delicious fresh Tasmanian salmon.
A whole side of Gravlax makes a great centrepiece for a lunch buffet. It goes well with rye bread, asparagus, rocket, cucumber, cream cheese, sour cream, brie, horseradish cream, caviar, boiled eggs, spring onion, chives, avocado, dill, and potato.
To cure a whole side of salmon, double the quantities stated in the recipe.
500g piece of fresh salmon
1 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons citrus vodka
Pin bone the salmon, then put it in a non reactive container, (plastic or ceramic). Mix the remaining ingredients together and spoon then over the salmon. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days, spooning the curing liquid over the fish a couple of times a day.
To serve, lift the fish for the cure, pat dry with a paper towel, then using a very thin bladed slicing knife, cut into very thin slices.