Gravlax, while similar in technique to Lox and Nova Lox, adds sugar and spice to the curing process for different results. While there’s some concern regarding the variety of salmon and the ocean it came from dictating what you call the finished product (Nova is Atlantic, I believe?), we are unconcerned with these trivial matters. What concerns us, is flavor.
We chose two recipes for our monster fillet picked up from Costco. Yes, Coscto. While you are free to use sashimi grade salmon in your curing process, it can be a bit cost prohibitive. Besides, the sushi that you get from the cheap restaurant down the street is safe by the same methods that the fishing boats use to store their fish. The flash freezing process used by fisheries will kill off most parasites. It’s important, however, that your salmon was not fished for in fresh water, as that’s where it picks up most of these parasites. Of course, that didn’t stop us from turning our freshly caught salmon from Lake Michigan into Gravlax in 2010. We’re still kicking…
Gravlax two ways:
Using tweezers, remove the bones from the salmon filet. I tried with chopsticks, unsuccessfully. Sometimes you have to go hunting for them.
We used two rubs:
50/25/25 Salt/white sugar/brown sugar (or 50/50 brown sugar as we did.)
Smoked peppercorns, crushed
50/25/25 Salt/white sugar/brown sugar
You want rub the salmon liberally with this mixture, ensuring that salt/sugar is touching ever part of flesh. Also, be sure not to use fine-grain salt, as the salmon will absorb too much of it in the process. Place the filets flesh to flesh and wrap tightly in plasticwrap.
Place the filets on top of eachother for weight, on top of crumpled balls of tin foil, to allow space for the liquid that will be pulled out of the salmon. Flip every day, and serve as early as day 3.