Thursday, April 8, 2010
About a week ago, I suddenly got a very strong craving for some lox. Don't know how, don't know why, probably because I was staring at the smoked salmon and then the fish counter while I was grocery shopping. So instead of going to the bagel shop across the street, I decided that I am going to make some myself. How I waited this long to satisfy my craving is beyond even me. I'm usually not this patient when it comes to food.
Read on if you wonder about what happened $10 and 5 days later...
I found the curing proportion on FoodMayhem. For the original recipe and their step-by-step photos, click here.
1 lb fresh salmon
1/4 cup of kosher salt
1/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 TBsp of pepper
1. Rinse and dry salmon thoroughly. Remove any pinbones and scales. If you have a hard time finding the pinbones, you can put the fillets scale side down on an upside-down bowl, so that the bones will become more visible.
2. Combine salt, sugar and pepper. Mix well.
3. Generously cover the flesh of the salmon with the rub. Make sure all sides of the flesh are completely covered.
4. Now, put the "rubbed" sides together to make a fish sandwich. Make sure to put more rubs on the exposed sides of the flesh.
5. Using a piece of plastic wrap, tightly wrap the fillets together. FoodMayhem suggests not to pull the sides tightly shut, so that when the salt and sugar draw out the water, it can run off out of the plastic.
6. I placed an upside-down mini quiche pan in a medium-sized baking dish, then I placed the wrapped salmon on top, finished off with a foiled-wrapped brick as the weight. Then I put it the fridge with my fingers crossed.
7. For the next five days, I poured out the liquid from the baking dish, and flipped the fish. Perhaps because of the small size of the fillets, there was not that much liquid, but I tried to keep the dish clean anyway.
Five Days Later...
Finally! I haven't stopped thinking about this fish since I started this little project! Mostly because it stared at me every time I opened the fridge, AND, I did not cheat and just buy some to eat!
After I rinsed off the rub with cold water and dried it thoroughly, I began examining the results of my efforts. I smelled it, touched it, and poked it, then I began slicing it. Unfortunately, my knife is not very sharp, so it was slightly difficult to make perfect paper-thin slices.
My fillets definitely became firmer and slightly darker than fresh salmon, but I believe not as firm as it should be. Since I'm not afraid to eat anything, I tried a piece of it...and another...and another...it was delicious! The texture was soft but crisp, and not very salty. I thought it was perfect! Exactly what I wanted five days ago! My boyfriend just got home from the gym, took a look at what I'm doing in the kitchen, and declared that half the fillet was his! Anyway, we finished one of the fillets with cream cheese and crackers for lunch!
I'll definitely try this again soon! Now I think I want some sushi...