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Gravlax, lox, smoked salmon… cured salmon comes in several varieties and flavors from all over the world, but is usually served atop some kind of bread (toast, crackers, bagels…) with capers and cheese. My husband particularly enjoys it inside an omelet with some red onion and chives, and I’ve been known to snack on it in a pinch or throw it onto some greens for a quick salad.
You might be surprised at how much money you can save by making your own cured salmon rather than buying it at the store! Even at my local Costco, smoked salmon is upwards of $16 a pound, while I was able to get these fillets for just $7. Curing them is an extremely easy process that just requires a little patience. For other flavor variations, replace the dill with lemon or lime zest or leave it out entirely to let the liquid smoke shine.
- 1 lb boneless salmon fillet
- ¼ cup coarse sea salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- Rinse the salmon and pat it dry with a paper towel, then cut it in half (to use an elementary-school phrase, hamburger style).
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and then press the rub into the pink parts of the salmon (don't worry about the skin).
- Sandwich the two halves of salmon together with the skin facing outside and then wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
- Place in a high-sided baking dish and place another baking dish on top. Weight it with cans or jars and place in the fridge. Drain any excess moisture from the bottom dish and flip the fillets over once every day for 4 days.
- After 4 days, rinse the rub off the cured salmon with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Serve within 3 days.
Most of us on AIP (and Paleo) avoid sugar and brown sugar in cured foods (bacon, smoked salmon). Can someone please comment on if it’s okay or if it should be avoided?
Dr. Sarah Ballantyne shares in The Paleo Approach that small amounts of sugar are OK when used in cured meats like bacon or salmon. It is fine used in this instance, but if you’d like to avoid you can substitute coconut sugar.