This recipe is based on the scandanavian recipe, gravlax. It is so simple that anyone can do at home. It will work on any of the salmonoid family of fish, including ocean trout, I have even tried it with mixed results on tuna and cod. This is a great alternative (and a fair bit cheaper) than smoked salmon and can be used in exactly the same way.
500 gm (1 lb) Salmon fillet, skin on
50 gm (2 oz) sea salt
50 gm (2 oz) sugar
60 ml (¼ cup) gin, vodka or aquavit
½ bunch dill, chopped
The first step is to remove the fine pin bones in the salmon. Run your finger over the fattest part of the fillet to find the bones. They will be in a single line the length of the fish. Using tweezers or pliers, gently grab the top of the bone and ease it out of the fish. Be careful here, because the final presentation will be marred if you damage the flesh too much.
When all the bones have been removed, mix together the salt, sugar, gin and dill and rub into the fish. Place the fish flesh side down into a stainless steel or glass dish, cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator for 12 hours or over night.
The next day, wash the curing mix off the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Using a very sharp knife, cut thin slices of the fish, cutting towards the tail section. You can slice the fish up to a day in advance and unsliced it will keep for 5 days.
Serve in the same manner as smoked salmon, that is on blini with sour cream and capers or draped over boiled new potatoes with horseradish and chives.
This recipe has a simple mutiple. 10% of the fish weight in salt and 10% in sugar. So 2 kg (4lb) of fish will need 200gm of sugar and 200gm of salt. Adjust the alcohol of course!