My mother’s cousins have a family-run fishing business on the West coast. Over the last few years the salmon runs have been decreasing, although last year was a mammoth run. There has already been a tanker spill at the head of a primary salmon spawning river this spring which will affect the salmon this year. Also the increasing levels of radiation in the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima make eating seafood from there dangerous. I made this recipe for our Christmas pot-luck last year, with a salmon fillet given to me by this family -- everyone loved it. This recipe is very easy to make and is a guaranteed to impress. Be sure you don’t use farmed salmon.
Traditionally this recipe was made in the summertime as lots of fresh dill is required. I have adapted the recipe for folks on the GAPS or SCD diets or anyone who is boycotting sugar. Be sure to use course salt as fine salt will make it too salty.
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Step 1: Ingredients
Please be aware that amounts need not be exact. This amount of curing mixture will work for larger sized salmon as well. It is best to use two fillets and press them together but this will yield a lot of gravlax, so it may be better to make more reasonably sized amounts:
1 3-pound side of salmon
2/3 c salt
1/4 c honey
1 t black peppercorns, crushed
2 large bunches of dill
Step 2: Prepare Honey Cure
Trim up your side of salmon, remove bones if necessary.
Cut into two pieces if it is big enough. Rinse under cold water and pat dry.
Mix together the salt, honey, and peppercorns. Rub part of this into the fish.
Step 3: Prepare Salmon
Place a thick layer of dill sprigs in the bottom of a pan.
Set one piece of salmon, skin side down, on about half of the dill.
Add more seasoning and more dill. Place the other salmon on with skin up.
Rub the rest of the seasoning in and cover with any remaining dill.
Step 4: Marinade 24 Hours
Set a board on top of the salmon to weigh it down, or use a zip-lock bag filled with water. Chill 16 to 24 hours.
Step 5: Remove Seasonings
Step 6: Slice and Serve
Cut the salmon as thick or thin as you please, arrange it on a serving platter and garnish it with fresh dill and lemon wedges, serve with Swedish mustard dip.