The Cure

Posted on February 6, 2012


Naknek River King Salmon Tails Fresh from a Gravlax Cure


There is no new snow in Juneau, but there is still enough for skiing. It has gotten colder and the formerly wet snow has turned to icy sugar that does not want to set up very well when it is groomed. But hey, it works. I got a long skate ski in this morning and my body felt good, strong and alive.

Last Friday I filleted a jack king, or young king, from the Naknek River in Bristol Bay that we had been saving in the freezer and there was too much for us to eat with our company. I did not want to re-freeze the fish, so I took the tailpieces and gave them a gravlax cure. The process requires no smoke or heat and all you need is to make space in your refrigerator for the curing time. Here is a link to the recipe that I like to use:

It should be noted that while you would not want to re-freeze fresh-frozen fish, once your salmon has received this cure, it will re-freeze well if you are not able to consume all of what you have made within a week or so.

If you would like to use the lax on something other than bagels, here is an appetizer recipe that treats fingerling potatoes as if they are a cracker for the salmon:

My advice to you for making this recipe work is to allow enough time for the potatoes to cool completely before you assemble so that the cream does not melt.

Any of you who have read previous entries know that I am partial to sparkling wine and that would be my first choice for pairing with gravlax. In doing a quick perusal through the Internet, sparkling wines always came to the top of the list in all recommendations for what to drink with gravlax. Blancs de Blancs or white of white, meaning the white sparkling wine was made with white grapes, is the recommendation that I saw most consistently, but I would not rule out using a brut rosé. I am very partial to Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rosé out of Northern California. It is affordable, has a full crisp body and is readily available, even in Alaska. Prosecco is another affordable choice that you might want to consider.

Lax are a wonderful food to share with friends for brunch or dinner gatherings, the perfect cure for pushing through a winter slump.