Winter Gravlax

Field Report No. 20160119HB

Topic: Food & Lifestyle 

Conditions: Cured


As a Pacific Northwesterner, I like to think we have a lot in common with the Nordic folks across the globe. We admire their mountains, we like their form of skiing, and we indulge in their food culture. One of their most beloved foods is gravlax, you might know it as lox on your bagel. I know curing meat can be intimidating, but gravlax is one of the more simple and quick meats to make at home. So take that Chinook Salmon you caught this summer, perhaps in the Wenatchee River, and get ready for a fine Scandinavian treat. Bare freezer? Head down to Mike's Meats at the Pybus Market or Rhubarb Market for a quality piece of fish.  

What you’ll need:

  • 2 ½ lbs salmon fillet
  • 5 tablespoons of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 1 bunch of roughly chopped dill

Place the fish on a generous piece of plastic wrap, the skin can stay on but make sure you remove the pin bones of the fillet. Combine your mixture of salt, sugar, peppercorns, and juniper berries in a separate small bowl. Thoroughly coat the fillet with this mixture. Place the fillet skin down on plastic wrap and cover the coated fish with dill. Then tightly wrap in plastic. Put the wrapped fish on a tray or plate and find a heavy object like a book, stack of plates, or jug to place on top. Put this apparatus in the refrigerator and let cure for 24 hours. After your fish is cured unwrap the fillet and rinse off in cool water. Place your fish in a plastic bag and let rest for 1 hour. When you’re ready to eat it, thinly slice your gravlax at an angle. It’s time to think past the bagel, try your gravlax on pumpernickel toast or dress up your lunch time wrap with it. 

RECOMMENDATIONS: Not in Wenatchee? Also check out Thomson's Custom Meats in Twisp , Owen's Meats in Cle Elum, or Cured by Visconti in Leavenworth.