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I am going to make Gravlax and found the following recipe:
http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2011/11/30/chef-hamid-salmon-gravlax/

Ingredient list:

  • 2 or 3 salmon fillets, deboned with skin on
  • 2 lemon, peel rasped/finely grated
  • 1 orange, peel rasped/finely grated
  • 300 mills sugar (by volume)
  • 150 mills kosher salt (by volume)
  • 50 grams dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seed, toasted ground

Question 1: I am assuming that by "mills" he means milliliters. It seems highly unlikely that it could mean anything else, but I hate guessing. Does anybody know for sure?

Question 2: By "2 or 3 salmon fillets", does he mean 2-3 whole sides of salmon, or 2-3 portion-sized pieces of salmon fillet? Judging by the amount of salt and sugar (assuming of course that I am right in thinking that "mills" == milliliters) I think it should be the former.

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Curing is something where safety must be the first priority, and the ratios matter--I would suggest searching for an unambiguous recipe or formula rather than using this one. –  SAJ14SAJ Dec 20 '12 at 16:19
    
It's definitely milliliters, however the ratio of fish to sugar and salt is important. It's a blog, why not put in a comment and ask for a weight ratio? –  GdD Dec 20 '12 at 16:41
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

1 I would say with almost 100% certainty he's referring to Millilitres by volume. 300ml is just over 10 fluid ounces and 150ml just over 5, which sounds about right for the quantity you're marinating.

2 By 2 or 3 Salmon fillets, I would think he's referring to 2 or 3 portions of Salmon fillet. 2 or 3 sides would be far too much for the marination quantities he's specifying.

50g of dill and 1 tablespoon of fennel look right too, although I'd say that was a lot of fennel.

Here's another one for it -

800g of salmon fillet, skin on, 3 tablespoons (45 ml) white sugar, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Sea salt, 1 oz. (28 grams) fresh dill.

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When making gravlax, both the ratio between salt and sugar and the amount of dill or other herbs is more or less a matter of taste. Personally, I am not a big fan of dill and find that its strong, distinct flavour does not necessarily match gravlax very well.

I use the same amount of salt and sugar (which is common in Norway), and enough to cover the fish fillets. Cover the bottom of a pan or dish with salt/sugar, lay the fish fillet on top of it, sprinkle a generous amount of salt/sugar on the fish and repeat if you have more than one fillet. Don't be afraid to use too much salt or sugar, the fish will only absorb the right amount anyway.

What makes it important in your recipe to use kosher salt (and not any other type of salt)?

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"Kosher salt" in the US/UK seems to be a way of just saying that it should be coarse, but of course that's not necessary. However, I've heard some people claim iodized salt give a bitter taste, but I've never experienced it myself. +1 from Sweden on the 1 by 1 ratio sugar/salt and that the proportions just are a matter of taste. –  citizen Dec 20 '12 at 19:12
    
@citizen: Kosher (strictly, "kosher_ing_") salt is usually rock salt, that is, not from the ocean, and its main features are, yes, coarse texture (each manufacturer claims theirs is the best) and lack of additives. –  Josh Caswell Dec 20 '12 at 19:48
    
While the ration of herbs to salt or sugar is a matter of taste, the time to cure and result of the cure will depend critically on ratio of salt and sugar to fish, and the thickness of the fish. I don't think gravlax is cooked after curing, so a proper and safe cure is very important. –  SAJ14SAJ Dec 21 '12 at 3:57
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