Sunday, March 25, 2012

Patience / Gravlax

Life need not always be fast. Something’s, indeed sometimes the most rewarding things take time. I’m as impatient as anyone in today’s hyper digital age, I get frustrated if my computer takes to long to boot up or if I cop a few red lights in row. Rewarding pursuits need also not be about peak bagging, new gear or surfing good waves. Sometimes I am inspired to do something that takes a bit of time.

Recently retired from a long and hard working career as a lawyer, my Dad is currently embracing this ethos with vigour. I’m not sure how he got into it, but Dad is really keen on gravlax. Meaning literally “buried salmon”, gravlax is a traditional Nordic and Scandinavian method of curing salmon. Over the past year Dad has experimented with different ingredients and now has a few different delicious recipes up his sleeve. He is getting so good at it he now sells it in my cousins cafe where it is served on fresh bread with poached eggs.

Having tasted my Dad’s gravlax, I was pretty keen to try the real thing when I visited Helsinki last year. Wandering around the waterfront I was lured into many deli’s serving the delicious Lohi.

Back in Jindabyne and the fishing has been pretty good in our elevated la nina lake. Stories of giant browns and rapidly met bag limits pervade town. On a clear autumn evening I went down to a little bay in front of our house to try my luck.

Not a bad spot to wet a line

It wasn't long before I got a great hit and hooked up a trout. The fish gave a good fight and eventually I landed it and doinked it on the head.

The roos were impressed

With all the gravlax'ing going on over the past year, I was keen to make some of my own. I fist gutted, filleted and deboned the fish. Having no dill at home, a crucial ingredient, I left the fillets in the fridge over night. After work the next day I drove to town and picked up some dill which I finely chopped and then mixed with vodka, coarse sea salt and white sugar.

 I laid out some cling wrap and spread some of the mixture. I then put the fish on skin down, liberally smeared more of the mix and the rolled it all up in the cling wrap and put it in the fridge.

A day later it was time to unwrap my gravlax. Again testing my skills with the filleting knife I attempted to finely slice the fillet. I hacked it a bit but got some nice thin slices going.

Now, if I was from northern Europe the slices probably would have gone on some fresh rye bread or be served with potatoes but being of Italian decent it was pappardelle pasta with some more dill and rocket for me.

We ate our pasta in the front of the fire*.

I really enjoyed the whole process of curing my fish, kind of organic. By the way, 1hr fishing, 3 days prep and 10 minutes eating! Now I have to go burn off the carbs…

*it snowed yesterday, winter is on its way.


  1. Wow what can I say so proud cant wait to taste it,they are now selling my octopus !!!


  2. Thanks Dad, cant wait to try the occy!