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Anybody make salmon gravlax?

I am making salmon gravlax and the salt/sugar/herb cure is extracting a lot of water from the fish...more than I have experienced before. Usually the mixture keeps relatively solid but this has become very syrupy and runs off the filet onto the pan. I am wondering if I should make up a new mixture for tomorrow? Or will this syrupy mixture cure it sufficiently?

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  1. In my experience, the syrup is normal. Just spoon it back over the fish halves or on top of the dill. The cure will be fine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mnosyne

      I agree, I've been making it for at least 15 years and get that syrup too.

      1. re: Athena

        Me too. When the salmon is finished curing, I usually just wipe off all the salt etc. with a paper towel, and occasionally rinse the pieces off as well, then dry.

    2. Like mno, Ath, and MMR, I've had plenty of liquid as well. I have the fillet plastic wrapped tight while weighted and syrupy liquid oozes out anyway (keep it in a pan just for this).
      It always comes out fine.

      1. The best procedures I found at this link: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/re...
        My recipe is;
        1 cup of sugar (white) x 1 cup of salt (mixed 1/2 of refined x 1/2 of kosher)
        2 tsp of black pepper
        a lot of dill on the top
        wrap with plastic film and place it on a pan but inclined for a better drain of the "syrup" for 48 hours inside refrigerator.

        1. to get the weight distibution correct jfood uses bags of rice on top of the filets, then places the weights of top of the rice. The rice allows for even pressure on the entire fish.

          Like others have said, there is plenty of liquid that gets forced out of the fish.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jfood

            That's a great idea - I usually put two large cans of San Marzano tomatoes and then rotate to help w/ the even pressure. Thanks for the tip.

            1. re: MMRuth

              I've been using a patio brick wrapped in foil.

              1. re: mnosyne

                the issue is the tail is not as tall as the other half so the rice "evens" the surface. Then jfood places a cookie sheet on the leveled rice surface and then tops that with the bricks

                1. re: jfood

                  I usually try to get a 2 lb center cut piece, then cut it in half.

          2. Sarah is sounds normal, don't worry. Just don't cure too long. One aspect of gravlax that I've come to dislike is the gummy texture if the fish cures too long. If the fillet is not too thick 24 hrs is sufficient. I usually do a two day cure but have found it is often too much.

            I like to find a salmon or trout with a high fat content. Lots of white lines between flesh. Helps keep it creamy in texture.

            I have recently tried doing a wet brine with salmon and like it even better from a textural standpoint. 1 hour per 1/2 inch thickness is enough. Let dry in the fridge and serve as is or cold smoke for an hour.

            Cured salmon is just a wonderful thing. Let us know how it came out and better yet post pics

            1 Reply
            1. re: scubadoo97

              Here are a couple of pics of my most recent attempt at cold smoked cured salmon