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Video:How to Make Gravlax

with Elaine Lemm

No smorgasbord is complete without one of Scandinavia's most distinctive dishes - Gravlax. The name Gravlax comes from the old method of curing salmon by burying it in sand. There's no digging here, just a few ingredients, time, and a refrigerator.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Gravlax

Gravlax Ingredients

You will need:

  • 1 x 3 ½- to 4 lb salmon fillet
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1 tsp. dill seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 bunches of fresh dill (don’t skimp on the dill, for this is what gives gravlax its unique flavor)

Prepare the Gravlax Salmon

To begin we need a fresh salmon fillet. Use salmon with the skin on as it adds to the flavor and makes carving easier but it’s not a problem if you can only find skinless.

First, rinse the fish and pat dry with paper towel. Carefully examine the fish for any small, opaque pin bones, feeling down along the middle line and along the outer edges of the fillet. Remove any bones with tweezers or needle-nosed pliers. Cut the fillet into two equal halves.

Season the Gravlax Salmon

In a bowl mix the sugar and salt, then cover both sides of each fillet half with the mixture. Sprinkle the flesh side of each fillet half with the dill seeds and ground pepper.

Next, place one fillet half, flesh side up, in a dish just large enough to hold it. Roughly chop the dill, stems and all. Place the chopped dill on top of this fillet, then cover with the second half, flesh side down, like a huge raw fish-and-dill sandwich!

Marinate the Gravlax

Cover the dish lightly with plastic wrap and let marinate at room temperature until the sugar-salt mixture has melted into the fillet – no longer than 6 hours.

Refrigerate the Gravlax

Place a small pan or plate on top of the plastic wrap-covered gravlax. Weight the plate lightly, using a few rocks or canned items (in lieu of the traditional sand and dirt!). Refrigerate the weighted gravlax for at least 2 days (48 hours) and up to a week turning the fish sandwich every 12 hours or so to make sure the salmon is evenly cured. Remove the gravlax from the refrigerator. Scrape off most of the dill and seasonings; pat dry with paper towels.

Ready to serve - slice thinly with a sharp knife. Gravlax is traditionally served on rye or crispbread with a little sweet dill sauce. Its great with capers and finely chopped onion, on all types of open-faced sandwiches. Enjoy.

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