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Old 04-27-2010, 04:06 PM   #1
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Help with Gravlax

I am thinking about making gravlax, should I use fresh atlantic (farmed) salmon or frozen Alaskan Wild Salmon?

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Old 04-27-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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By the time the marinade/rub has done it's work, I doubt it will matter much. I'd go with whatever is on sale that week.

Is it just me or does Gravlax sound like it should be a villain in a fifties sci-fi?
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:18 PM   #3
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Marinades seem to work better on unfrozen meats.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:18 PM   #4
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Personally I'd go with the frozen Alaskan Wild - thawed first, of course. It's ultimately safer in the long run for any seafood that's going to be used in a raw or semi-raw preparation (gravlax, ceviche, sushi, etc.) to have been frozen for 24-48 hours first.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:58 PM   #5
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it isn't really raw after salting ,sort of chemically cooked ,like scallop in lemon juice , unheated but still cooked, use the atlantic if it is on sale -" alaska wild " doesn't tell you the species . Alaska has the same salmon as in BC -we get pink, sockeye ,coho ,spring, chum. Atlantic is very like spring, not as good for gravlax as coho or sockeye,be sure to use fresh dill and I find it useful to wrap a couple bricks in tinfoil to apply weight after wrapping in cling wrap.
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Old 04-27-2010, 11:04 PM   #6
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Breezy is right. We always used premium quality fish and if it was fresh we froze it 48 hours before using. Then we thawed it and started the salting process. The freezing kills parasites and certain bacteria on fish. The salting process (like ceviche which is the citrus juice method) "cures" the salmon more than cooking it.
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:22 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by gage View Post
it isn't really raw after salting ,sort of chemically cooked ,like scallop in lemon juice , unheated but still cooked, use the atlantic if it is on sale -" alaska wild " doesn't tell you the species . Alaska has the same salmon as in BC -we get pink, sockeye ,coho ,spring, chum. Atlantic is very like spring, not as good for gravlax as coho or sockeye,be sure to use fresh dill and I find it useful to wrap a couple bricks in tinfoil to apply weight after wrapping in cling wrap.
My issue wasn't with the species (although I always avoid farmed salmon), it was with the fact that the Atlantic farmed was "fresh", while the Alaskan wild was "frozen". If the reverse had been true, I would have either gone with the farmed, or suggested that the OP freeze the Alaskan for 48 hours & then thaw it (after checking that it was in fact truly fresh & hadn't been frozen & thawed by the market). Regardless of the fact that the fish is chemically cooked or cured, that process does not automatically kill any parasites that might be present.
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Old 04-28-2010, 01:46 PM   #8
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Dry salting fish/curing in a salt brine, for 5-7 days before pickling, will kill of nematodes and tapeworms. Also, some home freezers don't get cold enough, like a commercial freezer would, to kill things off sufficiently. . .

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends using fish frozen commercially for 7 days at -10F or 15 hours at -31F for raw fish dishes.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:06 PM   #9
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Dry salting fish/curing in a salt brine, for 5-7 days before pickling, will kill of nematodes and tapeworms. Also, some home freezers don't get cold enough, like a commercial freezer would, to kill things off sufficiently. . .

But how could you make gravlax (or any other raw preparation for that matter) with fish that had been dry-salted or salt-brined for 5-7 days?

I'll stick to freezing if I need to. My freezer is always at zero or below, & even if it's not up to "commercial" standards, I'd still feel safer using it than not.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:12 PM   #10
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Gravlax is fish cured with a salt/sugar combo with dill, etc. It's wrapped in plastic, pressed and refrigerated for days.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:18 PM   #11
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Yep, what Andy said. When I said "we froze it first" I was talking at the catering company I apprenticed at (and at school for that matter). Both places had commercial freezers. At home I do it fresh or frozen because as Tattrat says the salt can kill things as well. I haven't made it for awhile....this thread is making me want to go to the fish market today!
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:18 PM   #12
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I know what it is & how to make it (my mom makes a killer one with vodka) - lol!! But I don't feel secure that the "salt-sugar" combo (& even using vodka) is enough to kill parasites in fresh (never previously frozen) fish - particularly fish that sometimes inhabit fresh water.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:49 PM   #13
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Well, for thousands of years, the Nordic dish has been prepared using the traditional salt curing method. . .and they seem to have survived just fine.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:31 PM   #14
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There was a nice "thread" on this some time back..don't know how it all worked out..

http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...lax-54198.html

My post "giggler" has a recipe I used once with good results.. the link still seems to work.

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