homemade gravlax aka heaven

gravlax, lox, nova lox: we’ve come a long way from preserving salmon out of necessity. thankfully, the advent of refrigeration hasn’t killed the tradition altogether. the differences are subtle: do you add sugar to the cure or just salt? do you use aromatics like dill or juniper? do you smoke the fish after the cure? if you smoke, is the smoke hot enough to cook the fish, or do you cold smoke it?

in our case, we used salt and sugar with dill as our aromatic. initially, we decided not to smoke it (although the decision to eat without waiting to smoke may have been related to the fact that the girl was hungry for breakfast… and what the girl wants, the girl gets). later, with bellies full of gravlax, we decided to experiment with adding some smoke. stay tuned for a video.  in the meantime, follow the jump for our so-easy-anyone-can-do-it curing recipe.


you’ll need:
1 lb. salmon
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. salt
1 tbs. black pepper
and a bunch of dill. enough to cover the salmon.
…and a vacuum sealer.


put the salmon in a plastic vacuum seal bag with half the sugar / salt / pepper / dill on the top and half on the bottom.


now seal that puppy up. we got this “seal a meal” for six bucks at an ohio thrift in columbus. best $6 find.


now the waiting. it needs to cure for 36 hours in the fridge. when you pull it out, all the sugar will be nice and liquefied like this.


taking the salmon out of the bag is so satisfying. not only does it look like it just came out of the barefoot contessa’s kitchen, it smells like heaven.


i mean, who doesn’t want to eat this.


lightly scrape the sugar / salt / pepper / dill off.


cut the fish into super thin slices. the trick with cutting fish like this is not to “saw” with the knife. sharpen your knife ahead of time.. and just let it glide through the fish in one motion.


slather some cream cheese on a toasted everything bagel and load it up with lox! if you haven’t already eaten half of it by now, you’re crazy.


we topped ours with thin sliced red onions and tempura capers. and then we died of bliss.



when you make this, let us know! send us a pic! we’d love to see it.



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he's a culinary institute of america grad in medical school. she's a journalist, who prior to their meeting, used the oven solely for storage.

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