Home-Cured Salmon (Gravlax)

I began with a skinless and boneless salmon fillet about five inches long, two inches wide and a half inch thick. Boots' recipe calls for one part salt and one part sugar. Since I was only curing an itty bitty fillet, I went with one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of salt. I poured the sugar and salt directly into a Ziploc bag and tossed in the fillet to coat (top photo).

After sealing up the bag, I stuck it in the refrigerator under the weight of five blocks of cream cheese (Boots used a baking sheet weighted down by miscellaneous foods for her much larger fillet). I jostled the bag every twelve hours or so to redistribute the juices. The bottom photo is what the salmon looked like after thirty-six hours of chilling in the fridge.

The salmon is ready for consumption after a full day in the fridge. The longer the salmon chills in the bag, the saltier it gets. After thirty-six hours, I removed the fillet from the bag, rinsed it under cold water and patted it dry.

Using a sharp knife, I cut the salmon into thin slices. The verdict? Really tasty. The gravlax tasted just like traditional smoked salmon. I seriously can't believe how easy it is to make!

Gravlax tastes most excellent atop a toasted and schmeared bagel. For more ideas on how to prepare gravlax, check out Boots in the Oven and Cooking for Engineers.