Gravlax (Salt-Cured Salmon)

Photo © Franz Scheurer

Serves 20 as an entrée

1 small sashimi-grade salmon, filleted, skinned, bones removed
2 tablespoons chopped dill
Pumpernickel bread, to serve

Curing Mixture
⅓ cup castor sugar 
⅓ cup salt flakes
1 tablespoon freshly ground white peppercorns
⅓ cup finely chopped dill

Sweet Mustard & Dill Sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sweet mustard
1 tablespoon castor sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
100ml vegetable oil
¼ cup finely chopped dill

Make Curing Mixture: combine all ingredients, mixing well.

Make Sweet Mustard & Dill Sauce: combine mustards, caster sugar and vinegar. Slowly whisk in vegetable oil until you achieve a mayonnaise-like consistency, then stir in dill. Refrigerate until needed.

Trim off and discard salmon belly flaps and remove any remaining pin bones with fish tweezers. Put a large sheet of plastic wrap on a clean work surface. Dry fish well with paper towel and place fillets on plastic wrap, skin-side down.

Press half the curing mixture onto the flesh side of each fillet. Place one fillet on top of the other matching head to head, so the flesh sides are touching. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Put in a shallow baking tray and weight with a board topped by tins. Refrigerate for 36-48 hours, turning every 12 hours and draining off any liquid that seeps out.

Gently scrape or brush off curing mix, pat dry with paper towel. Press fresh dill onto flesh.

Serve thinly sliced with pumpernickel bread and Sweet Mustard & Dill Sauce.

Alternative species: ‘Ocean trout’ (sea-raised rainbow trout).

Visit www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au/seafood-school/about-sss for more great seafood recipes and cooking tips, advice on purchasing and storing seafood, species information and answers to frequently asked seafood questions.