LTH Home

I Have a Go at Gravlax

I Have a Go at Gravlax
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 3 of 4
  • Post #61 - February 20th, 2011, 9:02 pm
    Post #61 - February 20th, 2011, 9:02 pm Post #61 - February 20th, 2011, 9:02 pm
    zoid wrote:Interesting - I'm supposing that's because it draws out the moisture and pumps in a bit of salt.
    Now I just have to try it :wink:

    Yeah, salt reduces water activity in the cells of the fish (or any cured food) via osmosis, which inhibits the growth of bacteria. Just make sure you get good coverage and cure the fish all the way through. People have been doing this for centuries, so to me it seems pretty safe but there are plenty of books out there in which experts document the process -- Ruhlman & Polcyn's Charcuterie being one of them.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #62 - February 20th, 2011, 9:07 pm
    Post #62 - February 20th, 2011, 9:07 pm Post #62 - February 20th, 2011, 9:07 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    zoid wrote:Interesting - I'm supposing that's because it draws out the moisture and pumps in a bit of salt.
    Now I just have to try it :wink:

    Yeah, salt reduces water activity in the cells of the fish (or any cured food) via osmosis, which inhibits the growth of bacteria. Just make sure you get good coverage and cure the fish all the way through. People have been doing this for centuries, so to me it seems pretty safe but there are plenty of books out there in which experts document the process -- Ruhlman & Polcyn's Charcuterie being one of them.

    =R=

    From Wikipedia:

    Wikipedia.org wrote:According to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, salt (sodium chloride; chemical formula: NaCl) is the "primary ingredient used in meat curing".[1] Salt works by dehydrating the meat, thus preventing the growth of bacteria, and it creates an inhospitable osmotic pressure through the cell wall of the bacterium.[1][2] This triggers the beneficial bacteria, including lactobacillus acidophilus, to grow in the new environment and lower the pH to approximately 4.5. Doing this requires a concentration of salt of nearly 20%.[2] In addition, salt causes the soluble meat proteins to come to the surface of the meat cut and then solidify, which is what gives sausage its characteristic skin.[3] Finally, salt slows the oxidation process, effectively preventing the meat from going rancid.[2]

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #63 - February 21st, 2011, 11:02 pm
    Post #63 - February 21st, 2011, 11:02 pm Post #63 - February 21st, 2011, 11:02 pm
    Uncle Matt,

    Tre Kronor Restaurant serves gravlax made on the premises, they may be available for sale. This may be your best source.

    Ikea has gravlax in their restaurant, they may sell it in their shop, too.

    Fox & Obel have offered gravlax, though I'd call to double check availability before going.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #64 - February 21st, 2011, 11:31 pm
    Post #64 - February 21st, 2011, 11:31 pm Post #64 - February 21st, 2011, 11:31 pm
    I was never impressed with the gravlox I found at F&O. It seemed mushy and *very* oily.

    I used to make it when I worked for LEYE and found it pretty easy to do. I've done it at home several times with varied results. I guess I would prefer a fairly fatty wild fish and only do half a side or so until I was able to come up with a cure I was happy with.
  • Post #65 - February 22nd, 2011, 9:31 am
    Post #65 - February 22nd, 2011, 9:31 am Post #65 - February 22nd, 2011, 9:31 am
    I cured some Costco salmon just recently with a touch of cold smoke, pink salt, three days in the fridge with lots of dill, under a brick. It was firm and very tasty. Not gravlox, for sure, but awfully nice Québec-style smoked fish.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #66 - June 21st, 2011, 5:24 pm
    Post #66 - June 21st, 2011, 5:24 pm Post #66 - June 21st, 2011, 5:24 pm
    David Hammond wrote:I Have a Go at Gravlax

    Here’s how I made it.

    • 2 pounds of salmon (one fish, cleaned and cut in half)
    • 3.5 tablespoons of David’s kosher salt
    • 3 tablespoons of white sugar
    • 3 teaspoons of powdered white pepper
    • 2 bunches of fresh dill, roughly chopped

    I put the spices together and poured most on the cut sides of the fish pieces, put a little on the skin, put the dill in between the pieces, placed pieces at opposite directions to one another (tail to head) and wrapped it all in plastic wrap. I put the fish in a glass casserole, put another glass casserole on top and added 5 lbs of weight, distributed for even pressure. I turned the fish every 12 hours or so. After 2.5 days, I unwrapped the fish, washed off the spices and dill, and ate it.

    The above recipe is a hybrid of a number of recipes and accompanying techniques, I came across. It was good, but could I do better?



    I'g going to try this on Wed (for Saturday night party) but only 1/2 a CRS from Costco
    Can I skip the white pepper?
    Do I rinse the fish when I'm done?
    recent NYT suggested tarragon as well?

    thoughts?
  • Post #67 - June 21st, 2011, 5:39 pm
    Post #67 - June 21st, 2011, 5:39 pm Post #67 - June 21st, 2011, 5:39 pm
    Yes, you can skip the pepper. The only required ingredient is the salt, though I'm sure just about every recipe is salt+sugar+optional spices/herbs/flavors.

    I give the fish a quick rinse in water and then pat dry with paper towels.

    Tarragon is a good match with salmon.
  • Post #68 - June 22nd, 2011, 6:59 am
    Post #68 - June 22nd, 2011, 6:59 am Post #68 - June 22nd, 2011, 6:59 am
    mhill95149 wrote:thoughts?

    Options are virtually endless, you can skid from sumac to Serrano to saffron with equal ease. I was stuck, deliciously stuck, in traditional sugar/salt/white pepper/dill/aquavit until Evil Ronnie mentioned a combo he used to do at Mansion on Turtle Creek, Colman's dry mustard/salt/sugar/white pepper/cilantro/scallion/mint. Not only did this open my eyes to a Southwest style gravlox, but to the infinite possibilities of the medium.

    My basic gravlox method. One I've been itching to try, Beetroot Gravlox, Jamie Oliver.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #69 - June 22nd, 2011, 2:02 pm
    Post #69 - June 22nd, 2011, 2:02 pm Post #69 - June 22nd, 2011, 2:02 pm
    Just wanted to chime in (perhaps a few years late) - Hammond's post/thread really got me into making gravalax more regularly. While I had made it before, making a large fillet each time was somewhat unpractical (or so I thought) - then this thread go tme into making it and I realized I could just make it with a small piece. That got me into making many small pieces :) - why make less, when you can make more, especiallyif it is good :)

    Anyways, I thought I'd add this - because it was mentioned at the beginning of the thread

    eatchicago wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:
    eatchicago wrote:Were you draining any liquid when you turned it? Make sure you do that.

    Yes, I drained it, but not consistently. Is this a health and safety issue? Or an aesthetic concern?

    I'm not 100% sure if it's a health issue or not, but you really just want the flesh to be dry and firm. If it's sitting in its own liquid, I think you run a chance of harming the texture of the final product.
    l


    I just wrap the fish with the cure - as a matter of simplification - not because it is the or a correct method - and let what brine forms oozes out, ooze out. Reasoning that the fish must be in contact with the cure and brine for it to wrok. Pics below if this doesn't make sense.

    As GWiv notes, this is forgiving or adaptable. I've used cures from 2:1 salt to sugar (mix of both white and brown) - by weight (based on 'Professional Charcuterie') to cures with 1:1 depending on the herbs/flavors. The Ruhlman Charcuterie book has a fennel flavored one that got me trying a. smaller pieces and b. alternate flavors (to the more common dill). I typically use some alcohol to sprinkle, based on the flavors - vodka as a neutral with dill, but limoncello, buddha's hand citron infused vodka with others. One cure that I tried that was particularly memorable was with lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves (with a wash with ginger infused vodka IIRC) [I must have done this when that looking for kaffir lime leaves thread popped up as it does annually; also I don't put ginger directly when long cooking - based on my experience with sous vide mush]. I was looking for these pics but can't seem to locate them (just a pic of a half eaten bagel with gravlax and avocado).
    Anyhoo, most recently (two weeks or so ago) I tried a Mexican-ish cure - including a a bit of lime zest, cumin and cayenne and a tequila wash (was nice). Should have used more chiles (but didn't because of the little ones).

    Image Image
    on plastic wrap, add cure, fish (dried and patted with a bit of the alcohol), cure, herbs more cure, then second piece [if I am doing this; and then I prefer to use the thicker pieces, so it is more evenly cured], cure, wrap and double wrap.
    Image Image
    put in a dish (that's about as much space I can muster in my fridge), put plate and weight (usually a block of cheese or something else that is already in fridge); flip after 1 or 1.5 days; note that whatever will ooze will ooze (I don't try to wrap to completely seal)
    Image Image

    Then, after another 1.5 or 2 days, unwrap, wash in cold water, pat dry thoroughly, you can eat one and wrap the other piece for later.
    Image Image
    Image

    Image

    The tail ends of both fillets that didn't end up as gravalax, went on the grill.

    A few years behind, but Hammond and Bridgestone thanks for getting me (back) on the gravalax train...
    Hmm that beetroot flavored one seems interesting.
  • Post #70 - June 24th, 2011, 8:24 am
    Post #70 - June 24th, 2011, 8:24 am Post #70 - June 24th, 2011, 8:24 am
    Made some a few days ago and rinsed it & tested it this morning.
    Yum!
    Image
    Gravlax on cracker with pepper and mustard sour cream sauce

    I only had about 1/2 a pound of CRS to work with and I had skinned it all
    because I was going to make salmon cakes but then I remembered about gravlax....
    Next time I'll use a whole fillet.

    Thanks all the help!
  • Post #71 - June 24th, 2011, 9:10 am
    Post #71 - June 24th, 2011, 9:10 am Post #71 - June 24th, 2011, 9:10 am
    Looks like it might need a little more 'testing.' I'll be over in 'bout an hour... :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #72 - June 24th, 2011, 1:23 pm
    Post #72 - June 24th, 2011, 1:23 pm Post #72 - June 24th, 2011, 1:23 pm
    I'm getting ready to cure a side of Organic Irish for a Tuesday dinner. The curing mix consists of 2:1 kosher salt to sugar/pure maple sugar, with dry mustard and white pepper. Rather than the traditional dill, we wil use scallion, cilantro and mint.
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #73 - June 24th, 2011, 1:32 pm
    Post #73 - June 24th, 2011, 1:32 pm Post #73 - June 24th, 2011, 1:32 pm
    That's interesting, ER. But I'm having trouble getting the maple together with the cilantro. Cilantro, mint, scallion—that's pretty Thai-ish, so no problem conceiving that one. But now add in the maple, and my taste-imaginer goes all foggy on me. Have you done this combo before??

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #74 - June 24th, 2011, 4:27 pm
    Post #74 - June 24th, 2011, 4:27 pm Post #74 - June 24th, 2011, 4:27 pm
    Geo,

    Yes. Done it before. Ratio of white to maple sugar is about 6 to 1. Although I can smell the maple while curing, there isn't a noticable maple flavor.
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #75 - June 24th, 2011, 5:42 pm
    Post #75 - June 24th, 2011, 5:42 pm Post #75 - June 24th, 2011, 5:42 pm
    Evil Ronnie wrote:Geo,

    Yes. Done it before. Ratio of white to maple sugar is about 6 to 1. Although I can smell the maple while curing, there isn't a noticable maple flavor.


    I don't use white sugar either...I use Isomalt. 50% sweetness compaired to sucrose
  • Post #76 - February 27th, 2015, 9:04 am
    Post #76 - February 27th, 2015, 9:04 am Post #76 - February 27th, 2015, 9:04 am
    does anyone have a recipe they can share for gravlax, that they've made and can recommend? salmon is an expensive ingredient to waste, and my attempts at making gravlax have not been very successful, even though i followed recipes that the authors apparently thought was delicious... thanks
  • Post #77 - February 27th, 2015, 9:30 am
    Post #77 - February 27th, 2015, 9:30 am Post #77 - February 27th, 2015, 9:30 am
    justjoan wrote:does anyone have a recipe they can share for gravlax, that they've made and can recommend? salmon is an expensive ingredient to waste, and my attempts at making gravlax have not been very successful, even though i followed recipes that the authors apparently thought was delicious... thanks


    Have you read this thread? There are lots of recipes and suggestions right here.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #78 - February 27th, 2015, 9:32 am
    Post #78 - February 27th, 2015, 9:32 am Post #78 - February 27th, 2015, 9:32 am
    Maybe describe what's going wrong for you--some of the folks who make it might be able to help you troubleshoot the problem.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #79 - February 27th, 2015, 12:59 pm
    Post #79 - February 27th, 2015, 12:59 pm Post #79 - February 27th, 2015, 12:59 pm
    I've used ronnie_suburban's recipe for smoked lox from here up until the smoking part, and it's always been fantastic. I first tried it on some wild caught salmon my friend brought back from an Alaskan fishing trip, and I was sold!
  • Post #80 - February 27th, 2015, 1:49 pm
    Post #80 - February 27th, 2015, 1:49 pm Post #80 - February 27th, 2015, 1:49 pm
    Binko wrote:I've used ronnie_suburban's recipe for smoked lox from here up until the smoking part, and it's always been fantastic. I first tried it on some wild caught salmon my friend brought back from an Alaskan fishing trip, and I was sold!



    Yeah, I use the same recipe. Hardest part of making and eating gravlax for me is making sure i have a properly sharp knife.
  • Post #81 - February 27th, 2015, 3:10 pm
    Post #81 - February 27th, 2015, 3:10 pm Post #81 - February 27th, 2015, 3:10 pm
    i didn't know there was a thread. thanks everyone. joan
  • Post #82 - March 1st, 2015, 11:54 am
    Post #82 - March 1st, 2015, 11:54 am Post #82 - March 1st, 2015, 11:54 am
    Just had Sunday morning lox & bagels. Yesssss!
    A week ago, The Other Dr. Gale said I was a crazy fool for running my smoker in 16" of snow and at -12°C. But did she complain this morning as she bit into the lox'd bagel? oh no, nary a complaint.

    I use some pink salt before smoking. It seems to give a bit firmer texture than the usual cure alone.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #83 - April 7th, 2015, 8:12 am
    Post #83 - April 7th, 2015, 8:12 am Post #83 - April 7th, 2015, 8:12 am
    .
    Beet hued gravlax. Attractive and tasty.

    Image
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #84 - April 7th, 2015, 8:38 am
    Post #84 - April 7th, 2015, 8:38 am Post #84 - April 7th, 2015, 8:38 am
    Looks purty, Gary! How'd you get that hue? did you use your actual beets for coloration??

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #85 - April 7th, 2015, 12:31 pm
    Post #85 - April 7th, 2015, 12:31 pm Post #85 - April 7th, 2015, 12:31 pm
    G Wiv wrote:.
    Beet hued gravlax. Attractive and tasty.



    for your home made stuff how salty does it taste? I know there's no way to actually know the sodium content but knowing Gary makes food for living is there any comparisons? Like as salty as an Oscar Mayer bacon when you eat it?
  • Post #86 - April 7th, 2015, 5:35 pm
    Post #86 - April 7th, 2015, 5:35 pm Post #86 - April 7th, 2015, 5:35 pm
    Geo, grated raw beet gave it that lovely hue.

    Kenji, not salty at all, certainly less salty than Oscar Mayer Bacon.

    My current gravlax cure is two parts white sugar to one part salt. I used fresh dill, grated raw beet, orange zest, black pepper and a splash of Templeton rye. Wrap well in plastic wrap, two day press under weight, turn two or three times a day draining off accumulated liquid. Rinse, gently pat dry, slice, eat, enjoy. Repeat.

    Typically I would cut it thinner on a slight bias, but was at a friends house and was grateful the knife I was using even cut through the salmon. :)
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #87 - April 8th, 2015, 12:50 pm
    Post #87 - April 8th, 2015, 12:50 pm Post #87 - April 8th, 2015, 12:50 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Kenji, not salty at all, certainly less salty than Oscar Mayer Bacon.


    Alrighty then. I'm in. I'm gonna give it a whirl and report back. I've got a gaggle of folks around me who love anything I do with salmon so this should be a hit.
  • Post #88 - April 8th, 2015, 12:58 pm
    Post #88 - April 8th, 2015, 12:58 pm Post #88 - April 8th, 2015, 12:58 pm
    Kenji, if you're looking for a bit firmer texture, you could replace a bit of the salt with pink salt. I use about half a teaspoon per pound of salmon. It makes a difference. Or try it the traditional way first, the with the pink salt the next time.

    I bet you and yours will enjoy the results!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #89 - April 8th, 2015, 1:01 pm
    Post #89 - April 8th, 2015, 1:01 pm Post #89 - April 8th, 2015, 1:01 pm
    Geo wrote:pink salt


    Is pink salt easily sourced at a Jewel or other market? I've never looked for it at a grocery store.
  • Post #90 - April 8th, 2015, 1:06 pm
    Post #90 - April 8th, 2015, 1:06 pm Post #90 - April 8th, 2015, 1:06 pm
    Hmmm. Good question. Probably not. Altho', IIRC, somebody once said that the Spice House has it. Probably Gary or Binko would know better than I about how this would work in Chicago.

    Oh, wait, duh, Morton makes Tender Quick, which is pretty much equivalent to pink salt. It *should* be available in most full-range supermarkets; and, if not, the store mgr can get it for you by his next delivery.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more