Ambiguities in Gravlax recipe

Henrik Söderlund
  • Ambiguities in Gravlax recipe Henrik Söderlund

    I am going to make Gravlax and found the following recipe:
    http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2011/11/30/chef-hamid-salmon-gravlax/

    Ingredient list:

    • 2 or 3 salmon fillets, deboned with skin on
    • 2 lemon, peel rasped/finely grated
    • 1 orange, peel rasped/finely grated
    • 300 mills sugar (by volume)
    • 150 mills kosher salt (by volume)
    • 50 grams dill, finely chopped
    • 1 tbsp fennel seed, toasted ground

    Question 1: I am assuming that by "mills" he means milliliters. It seems highly unlikely that it could mean anything else, but I hate guessing. Does anybody know for sure?

    Question 2: By "2 or 3 salmon fillets", does he mean 2-3 whole sides of salmon, or 2-3 portion-sized pieces of salmon fillet? Judging by the amount of salt and sugar (assuming of course that I am right in thinking that "mills" == milliliters) I think it should be the former.

  • 1 I would say with almost 100% certainty he's referring to Millilitres by volume. 300ml is just over 10 fluid ounces and 150ml just over 5, which sounds about right for the quantity you're marinating.

    2 By 2 or 3 Salmon fillets, I would think he's referring to 2 or 3 portions of Salmon fillet. 2 or 3 sides would be far too much for the marination quantities he's specifying.

    50g of dill and 1 tablespoon of fennel look right too, although I'd say that was a lot of fennel.

    Here's another one for it -

    800g of salmon fillet, skin on, 3 tablespoons (45 ml) white sugar, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Sea salt, 1 oz. (28 grams) fresh dill.

  • When making gravlax, both the ratio between salt and sugar and the amount of dill or other herbs is more or less a matter of taste. Personally, I am not a big fan of dill and find that its strong, distinct flavour does not necessarily match gravlax very well.

    I use the same amount of salt and sugar (which is common in Norway), and enough to cover the fish fillets. Cover the bottom of a pan or dish with salt/sugar, lay the fish fillet on top of it, sprinkle a generous amount of salt/sugar on the fish and repeat if you have more than one fillet. Don't be afraid to use too much salt or sugar, the fish will only absorb the right amount anyway.

    What makes it important in your recipe to use kosher salt (and not any other type of salt)?

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measurements salmon
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