Gravlax is a traditional Scandinavian preparation of fish, cured with seasonings and dill, resulting in deliciously velvety flesh. In this version, beets bring earthy, sweet flavour and bright, bold colour to cured Arctic char. The cured char should be used within five days. Substitute salmon or rainbow trout for the char if you like.
More ways with cured char
- Stir together cream cheese with chopped herbs and lemon zest, spread on rye crackers, and top with slices of cured fish.
- Fold into soft scrambled eggs or add finely chopped pieces to devilled eggs.
- Use in place of smoked mackerel in the Mackerel Potato Egg Salad recipe.
- Try it with cooked linguini.
- Smash avocado on toast and top with slices of cured char and microgreens.
1 tsp (5 mL) dill seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) whole black peppercorns
1 tsp (5 mL) coriander seeds
2 juniper berries (optional)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
3 Tbsp (45 mL) kosher salt
1 cup (250 mL) finely grated raw, unpeeled beet
2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh peeled gingerroot
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped dill
Zest of 1 medium orange
Juice of 1 orange
1 lb (450 g) skin-on Arctic char fillet
In dry skillet over medium heat, toast dill seeds, peppercorns, coriander, and juniper berries, if using, shaking pan often, until very fragrant, about 4 minutes. Let cool, then finely grind in spice mill or with mortar and pestle. Transfer to small bowl and mix in sugar, salt, beet, ginger, dill, orange zest, and orange juice.
In shallow casserole-style dish, spread about two-thirds of the beet mixture. Add char, flesh-side down, and place remainder of beet mixture on top of fish. Cover dish tightly.
Place dish in the refrigerator for 3 full days. Turn char over once per day. When done, the flesh of char should be fairly firm and almost translucent throughout.
Scrape (don’t wash) off seasoning from char and, when ready to serve, use sharp knife to cut very thin slices.