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Think of this as smoked salmon for those without smokers. This is a super simple way to cure salmon for brunches and parties.
Step 1: Start with wild Pacific salmon (there is no wild Atlantic salmon). We like to use our local California king salmon, but sockeye, keta, and Coho work as well. We've never tried this with pink salmon, but it might go okay also. Remove pin bones and remove the skin.
Step 2: Cure with sugar, salt and herbs and spices. One standard blend is for every pound of salmon, mix 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup salt, and add 1 tbs black pepper and crushed red pepper. You can use fresh herbs as well. I'm not a huge fan of dill with salmon, but many people use this. For gravlax, I use a little thyme. (For fresh salmon, I like basil. The bright flavors go together so well.)
Step 3: Wrap in Saran Wrap and place in a pan. You now want to add weight to it, so put other pans or thick, heavy books on top of it. You want about 5-10 pounds for it.
Step 4: Place in refridgerator for between 3-5 days.
Step 5: Remove from fridge, unwrap and scrape or rinse the cure off.
Step 6: Slice with the grain. Here it's served with creme fraiche, arugula, red onion and bagette.