Many gravlax home-curers know that it can take several days for the salt-sugar mixture to penetrate the fish and, in essence, cook it. However, this miraculous recipe for halibut gravlax, from the new Cooking Light Global Kitchen cookbook ($30), only takes 24 hours.
Better yet, the recipe doesn't even call for weighing down the fish. We were skeptical, but the light, flaky fish firmed up and completely cured in a day, as the recipe promised.
Those who aren't huge fish fans will appreciate the mildness of halibut. Alone, it tastes quite salty and needs accouterments to balance out the flavor. For a wonderful Passover-friendly appetizer, slice the gravlax on the bias, and serve it with matzoh, a smear of cream cheese, and a dill frond.
Halibut stands in for salmon in this twist on the Swedish delicacy. For food safety, it's best to use thawed frozen-at-sea (FAS) halibut. Depending on the size of the fillets, you may end up using two to five pieces. But don't use one large fillet, because it will have thick and thin sections, and the salt mixture won't seep evenly throughout the fish.
1/3 cup coarse sea salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup fennel fronds, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 pounds halibut fillets, skinned
3 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
- Place the first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until finely ground.
- Arrange fish in a single layer in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Rub salt mixture evenly over the surface of the fish. Cover and refrigerate the fish 24 hours.
- Rinse the fish thoroughly under cold water; pat dry. Pat dill onto the fish. Cut the fish into 1/16-inch slices. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Crackers, Snacks
- 12 2-1/2-ounce servings
- Cook Time
- 1 day, 7 minutes