Monday, November 21, 2011

Gravlax (Cured Salmon) With Delicious Side Salad

Stained by the beetroot to a lovely fuchsia hue.
I have been rather obsessed with curing salmon lately. Ever since I knew how to do it, I've been buying truckloads of fresh salmon to cure at home. I still cannot wrap my head around the simplicity of the whole process!

It is wonderfully easy, really. I'm going to share two different ways to cure your salmon today. The picture above is a recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver, which is rather elaborated with lots of condiments to cure the salmon with. You can watch the video here:

The second one (picture below) is the much simpler, standard version. It is also saltier than the above recipe.

Salmon cured in one of its simplest forms.
I've paired the salmon with a salad that I've been simply addicted to. My hubby and I have been chomping on those leaves for the past few days, and I still can't get enough of it!! The secret is in the dressing, that is both tangy and sweet at the same time. Love it!!

So yes, try curing your own salmon at home today! It's fun and it definitely beats store-bought ones!

Gravlax (simple version)
(serves 4)

1 pound of fresh salmon, with skin on
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
zest of one lemon
Optional: 2 handfuls of dill, chopped finely

After washing the salmon, pat it dry and coat it with salt and brown sugar. Top it off with the lemon zest and dill. Place the salmon in a ziplock bag and refrigerate it for 24 hours to 48 hours (I actually like it better after just one day, as opposed to 48 hours because the salmon is less cured, but that's me, heh). Weigh some heavy items on the whole salmon (ie: big, heavy books or bricks) to aid in the absorption of the condiments.

When the salmon is ready, remove it from the ziplock bag and wash it under running water to remove the salt and sugar. Pat it dry with a paper towel. Then, skin the salmon by sliding your knife across it, between the skin and the flesh. (I love the fatty layer of fish just beneath the skin, so I'd really scrap my skin clean. But that's just me, heh.) Discard the skin.

Slice the salmon into thin strips. Serve with a little squeeze of lemon and a side salad.

Gravlax With The Works!
(serves 6)

Note: I've adapted Jamie Oliver's recipe in terms of the ingredients, but due to the different size of the fish and a little ambiguity in the instructions in his video, I've tweaked the measurements a little for this recipe.

1.5 pound of fresh salmon, with skin on
5 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 beetroot, grated (get those baby beetroots, not the large mature ones, and not the canned ones)
1 heaping tablespoon of horse radish
3 handfuls of dill, chopped finely
1 shot of schnapps (or brandy)
zest of 1 lemon

Wash your salmon and pat it dry. On a large tray, place salmon skin down. Top it off with the salt, brown sugar, beetroot, horse radish, dill. lemon zest and schnapps. Massage the condiments in a little, and then wrap the tray with cling wrap. Put the salmon in the refrigerator for 48 hours, weighed down by heavy items such as books or bricks, etc.

When ready, use a paper towel to brush all the condiments away from the fish. Then, skin the salmon by sliding your knife across it, between the skin and the flesh. Discard the skin. Slice the salmon into thin strips.

To make the cream to go with the gravlax:
Mix 3 tablespoons of sour cream with 2 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, 1 teaspoon of horseradish, a pinch of black pepper and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Delicious Side Salad
(serves 4)

Ingredients for the salad: (actually, you can put anything you one inside, but this is one of my favorite combinations)

3-4 handfuls of mesclun salad
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
12 black olives, each cut into 3 parts
a handful of salted pistachio nuts
1/2 handful of crumbled feta cheese

Ingredients for the dressing
3 tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette (I like Trader Joe's one)
1/2 teaspoon of garlic, chopped finely
1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of honey, or to taste
1 pinch of salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients for the salad dressing in a small bowl until combined. Adjust according to taste. Toss the salad with the dressing and then top it off with the crumbled feta cheese.

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  1. Been reading your cooking blog since it started. The salmon and salad looks awesome! Maybe you add in some avocado slices in it. Salmon and avocado are a perfect marriage.

  2. Hello Xiang Yi!! :) Welcome to my blog!! Oh yes, avocados!! definitely a winning combi there. i love it too! :)

  3. These look fantastic! I just had beet cured salmon at one of my favorite restaurants and I knew I could do it home. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Hi Ashley! Thanks you and you're welcome! Have fun making it! =)

  5. I love smoked salmon and as a starter for my Christmas dinner want to attempt curing salmon. The idea is then to slice and mix it in my foodprocessor with sour cream and lemon juice, using it as filling on my smoked salmon slices and rolling it up. Served on a bed of lettuce with avocado slices and lemon?