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Kitchen Smarts: How to Cure Salmon at Home and Make Gravlax, the Perfect Make-Ahead Party Appetizer

You’re three days away from gravlax perfection.
By Published Aug. 12, 2019

Gravlax is a traditional Nordic dish whose main component is cured salmon. If you plan three days in advance, you can serve it as an appetizer that will impress your party guests—or you can keep it all for yourself. No one would blame you. The choice is yours.

In this video, part of the “Kitchen Smarts” series on America’s Test Kitchen’s YouTube channel, Cook’s Country test cook Morgan Bolling demonstrates how to cure salmon to make gravlax. This foolproof method with help you create a delicious appetizer that everyone will love. Here are some of our findings:

Cover the fish in a mixture of sugar and salt: The salt draws liquid from the fish and cures it while the brown sugar counters the harshness of the salt and adds a deep, rich flavor.

Moisten the fish before curing: Make sure every part of the fish is moistened so that the sugar and salt combination will adhere to the fish.

Weigh it down: Placing a smaller glass baking dish on top of the prepared salmon and weighing it down with heavy cans while it cures for a few days will allow the flavorings to really soak into the fish.

Watch the Video

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What’s else do you like to put salmon on? Let us know in the comments!