Saturday, May 15, 2010


I like to eat most kinds of fish.  I will eat sushi, pickled, smoked and cooked fish.  When I cook fish, I tend to gravitate towards the standard fish - salmon, steelhead trout, halibut, cod or shrimp.   I will try other kinds of fish when I am out at restaurants besides these standbys.   I do have a weakness for smoked salmon and bagels and the ultimate is a montreal bagel with cream cheese, capers, a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice and nova scotia style smoked salmon.

I also like pickled fish and that is usually herring.  I once made my own pickled herring but it is easier to buy it in the jar.

On several occasions I have had gravalox which is a dry cured salmon and pickled salmon.   I have had the opportunity to eat pickled salmon at a friend's house over the past few years and I believe she got the recipe from a New York Times cookbook.   She graciously gave me the recipe and I have made it before but was reminded how much I liked this past Spring when I had the pleasure of eating it again at their place.

I made the recipe today but only made half the quantity.   I used atlantic salmon and I did not layer the salmon, onions and pickling spices in alternating additions but instead layered the bottom of a plastic container with the salmon pieces followed by the rest of the ingredients.  I also didn't need to weigh down the fish as it did not float in the marinade.  I did make all of the marinade but only used about 2 pounds of fish.  The following photos show the salmon pieces being covered by the onion followed by the balance of the ingredients.

1/2 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons kosher salt
12 bay leaves
4 tablespoons mixed pickling spices
4 white or yellow onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 pounds salmon fillet, skin and bones removed

Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Let this mixture cool completely.
Cut the-salmon into pieces that are approximately 1 inch by 2 inches. In a ceramic crock, glass bowl or plastic container, place a layer of salmon pieces, then a sprinkling of pickling spices and-bay leaves, a layer of sliced onions, then repeat the layering of salmon, spices, and onions until you have used them all.  Pour the cooled marinade over the fish.  If the fish has a-tendency to float, weigh down the fish with a ceramic plate.
Cover the container. Refrigerate-the salmon for 3 to 5 days.  Yields 4-6 servings

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