While shopping at my favorite local kosher grocery store, Seasons of Lawrence, I stopped by the fish counter to say hello to my childhood friend and the manager of Raskins Fresh Fish, Simon Springer. Simon is so welcoming with that bright smile on his face and he always has some great suggestions for what fish I should buy. I would say that as a Northwest girl, I’m very picky about eating wild caught fish and Raskins always has some beautiful fresh wild-caught options for me. I think I can actually hear my dad yelling at me now from all the way in Seattle. He is very very picky about his fresh fish, especially since he catches it himself (he’ll be writing a guest post very soon with an incredible recipe for wild caught salmon) but I can promise him that the fish I’m buying is fresh and delicious. So when Simon suggested I buy a a very pretty fillet of fish called “Salmon Trout”, I was curious about this fish I had never heard of and impressed by it’s cheap price so I bought one fillet and took it home. I roasted this “Salmon Trout” with butter and spices and it was melt-in-your-mouth amazing…but I couldn’t find any information about it on the internet. I was stumped by this fish so I asked Simon to do some research. What we both learned was that this fish is actually called “Sea Trout” but it is known by many other names as well, including “Salmon Trout.” Well there you go. And if anyone has more info they can share about this fish, please share in the comments below!
Okay, now that this fish encyclopedia moment is over, we can get started on the gravlax recipe. I know gravlax is traditionally made with salmon but I wanted to try it with this beautiful piece of sea trout since the flesh was so fatty and pretty. I lined a glass baking dish with a big piece of plastic wrap that hung over the sides of the dish. I placed the fresh and cleaned trout fillet in the dish, skin side down.
I covered the trout with a mixture of salt, sugar, orange zest, lemon zest, lime zest and fresh cracked pepper. You want to make sure all of that fresh fish is covered!
I wrapped the plastic wrap over the top of the fish and covered it tightly. It’s important to wrap it tight so there are no air bubbles but not too tight that any juice coming from the fish won’t seep out of the plastic.
I placed a slightly smaller glass dish on top of the fish then weighed it down with heavy cans. Thank goodness for coconut milk cans, huh?!? The best part about these cans is that I can use the hard coconut cream from the chilled coconut milk to make whipped cream for my coffee and to top a cake. You are also welcome to use bricks instead of cans for this step. I just didn’t have any bricks hanging around.
I refrigerated the trout for two days, turning it over after 24 hours. You can refrigerate the fish for up to five days but note that the longer you cure the fish, the saltier it will taste. I removed the fish from the fridge, unwrapped it and washed all of the salt mixture off. I washed and washed and washed the fish to get all of the salt off. You can even slice the fish to taste it and wash it even more if it’s still too salty. Then I sliced the fish on a slight angle using a very sharp thin blade and discarded the skin.
And there you have a beautiful cutting board filled with homemade gravlax! By the way, if your fish is still a bit too salty for your own personal taste, you can wash it again! Just drain the fish on a paper towel and it will dry pretty quickly.
I plated my gravlax with orange slices and sliced cucumbers for a beautiful and healthy lunch with some of my leftover Chilled Mulled Pomegranate Wine but you can eat yours however you want! Hey, put it on a bagel with cream cheese, snack on it with crackers or just eat it on it’s own. Any way you slice it, this citrus trout gravlax will make you smile and fill your belly.
- 2 lb. trout fillet
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 lime, zested
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- Wash and dry the trout fillet and make sure there are no bones in the fish. Just run your finger along the fillet to make sure they are all gone. If you feel any, just use clean tweezer or needle nose pliers to remove them.
- Lay out one large piece of plastic wrap in a large glass dish that is bigger than your trout fillet. Make sure the plastic wrap hangs over the sides of the dish. Place the fish on the plastic wrap, skin side down.
- Mix together the salt, sugar, orange zest, lemon zest and lime zest. Top the fish with the salt mixture, making sure the entire fillet and the sides are covered.
- Fold the plastic wrap over the top of the salted trout, making sure to wrap it nice and tight.
- Top the fish was another glass dish that is just a bit smaller than the bottom dish so it fits perfectly on top. Add 4-6 heavy cans to the top dish to weight down the fish. You can also use a few bricks for this if you have any bricks handy.
- Place the fish in the fridge for 24 hours then flip the fish, top again with the heavy cans and refrigerate for another 24-48 hours. The longer the fish sits, the saltier it will get so keep that in mind but it needs at least 2 days in the fridge to cure.
- After 2-3 days, it’s time to rinse the fish. Unwrap the fish from the plastic wrap and rinse the flesh and skin in cold water. Rinse, rinse and rinse some more! You seriously can’t rinse the fish enough. It’s been sitting in salt for a few days.
- With a long, thin blade, slice layers of the fish, leaving behind the skin. Eat your gravlax on a bagel, in a salad or simply with sliced oranges and cucumbers.