How to make your own cured salmon gravlax. Only 15 minutes of prep, and a 3-day cure in the fridge stand in between you and this Vodka Dill Cured Salmon Gravlax. Easy, yet elegant, this salmon is sure to be a showstopper for your next brunch or dinner party!
Combine all the DRY CURE ingredients in a small, non-reactive bowl.
Place a piece of plastic wrap (large enough to wrap around the entire fish) on a clean work surface. Place a double layer of cheesecloth, twice the size of the salmon, on top of the plastic wrap.
Sprinkle a heaping 2 tablespoons of the dry cure OVER the cheesecloth.
Place the salmon, skin side down, on top of the dry cure. Drizzle the vodka over the fish. EVENLY, and liberally, coat the salmon with the remaining dry cure, using your hands to RUB it into the fish.
Wrap the cheesecloth around the salmon, followed by the plastic wrap, to completely seal the fish forming a tight package.
Place the wrapped salmon on a wire rack set on a heavy sheet pan (or in a baking dish). Top the salmon with a weight* evenly distributed across the salmon to expedite curing process.
Refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours, up to 3 days*, TURNING OVER ONCE A DAY. (If only lightly curing for 24 hours, flip the fish over at the 12 hour mark)
Remove salmon from wrapping and rise off with cool water to remove the dry cure. Pat dry. Place the salmon back on the wire rack and place in the refrigerator (uncovered) for about an hour to air dry.
Thinly slice the salmon on a bias and serve!
You want to make sure you use the freshest salmon possible! Always get your fish from trusted source, whether that be your fishmonger, a specialty store, or your local grocer, just make sure you aren’t purchasing some sketchy fish. Your salmon should smell like the ocean!
Also, make sure there are no pin bones in the salmon filet. You can ask your fishmonger to remove them for you if you aren’t sure.
If vodka isn’t your thing, you can substitute gin or aquavit.
Make sure you are using coarsely ground salt! If you don’t have Himalayan pink sea salt, just substitute regular coarse sea salt. If you are using finely ground salt, reduce the amount of salt by 2-3 teaspoons.
If you want a sweeter, less salty cured salmon, switch the ratios of salt and sugar. (i.e. use 4 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of salt)
Make sure you let your salmon cure for AT LEAST 24 hours. This will produce a slightly cured salmon. I personally think 3 days is perfect, as the extra time will allow the fish to become just a bit more firm and flavorful.
When carving your gravlax use a SHARP knife, carve at a BIAS and slice it THIN. If you use a dull knife you will tear the salmon. If you don’t carve at a bias, your salmon slices will come out as teeny-tiny little strips. Breakdown - If you have a sharp knife, carve it on a bias AND slice it thin, you will yield more slices from the entire filet of salmon. Bonus – the gravlax will look better.
Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 6 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.