Smoked salmon and salmon gravlax are items you can find in many parts of the world. What is interesting is that the dish was originally conceived out of necessity. Like many forms of charcuterie, food preservation through salting and drying was the only way to keep food for long periods since refrigeration was not invented yet.
Here, we follow the method of making gravlax, but by briefly marinating the salmon in the smokey maple, we can impart a wonderful sweet smoky taste. It perfectly balances the salmon’s natural flavor with the saltiness from the curing.
Place the fillet on a baking tray or a large enough container. Using a pastry brush, coat both sides with the Black Maple and leave it in the fridge for 1 hour. Afterwards, repeat with another coat of Black Maple and marinate for another hour.
Near the end of the 2nd hour, mix together the salt, black pepper and chopped dill. Now, place a sheet of plastic wrap on the table, long and wide enough to completely cover the salmon. You may need several sheets.
First, place half the salt mix on the plastic. Then, lay the salmon over it. Then cover the salmon with the other half of the salt mix. Now wrap everything tightly by lifting the top and bottom of the plastic wrap and covering the salmon. Once it is wrapped, tighten it by using more plastic wrap. This makes sure that the salmon cures evenly.
Leave it in the fridge for 12-18 hours. You can cure it longer but it will become saltier and drier. I find 18 hours to be the perfect balance.
After the curing, remove the salmon from the salt and give it a light rinse. Pat it dry with paper towels. Since the salmon has been cured, the texture should be more firm, and much easier to slice thinly. You can also rewrap it and leave it in the fridge for another night to redistribute it’s moisture.
Serve with your favourite condiments, or with classics like cream cheese, capers, shallots and lemon.