How to make Honey Gravlax
Once they are on Stage 2 of the GAPS Introduction Diet, one food many people overlook is homemade honey gravlax. The idea of eating “raw” fish is not everyone’s cup of tea! But trust me – it’s delicious. And actually, the fish is not technically “raw” as it has been cured with salt, honey, and if you like, lemon.
It really seems like a luxury on Stage 2 to have soft-boiled eggs with gravlax and 24-hr GAPS sour cream for breakfast! At first, you may be wondering how to make honey gravlax, since it’s not something most of us learned to cook! But actually, it’s easy and uncomplicated. The recipe is not fussy with small variations in amounts or using different herbs and spices to your taste.
Why eat gravlax rather than salmon cooked in other ways?
- When salmon is uncooked it preserves the natural omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3 fatty acids are so good for GAPS people to eat.
- It tastes delicious and has a nice tender texture.
- Because the oils are uncooked, they don’t go rancid. The “fishy” taste that some people don’t enjoy about fish is actually from the fish oils. The fresher the oils, the less “fishy” the fish.
- So, raw fish is actually less “fishy” than its cooked counterparts, making this dish a good way to introduce people (especially kids) to fish!
How to Make Honey Gravlax
This traditionally cured salmon is a delicious way to add healthy omega 3 fats to your diet. Legal from GAPS Introduction Diet Stage 2!
- 1 fillet of high-quality, thawed but previously frozen (for at least 12 days) wild-caught salmon, this recipe makes enough for about 1 lb
- 1/2 of one fresh lemon (optional)
- 1 1/2 Tbs natural salt (I like coarse Celtic Grey)
- 1 Tbs raw honey
- 1 1/2 cups raw chopped herbs. Good choices are dill, chives or green onion, cilantro. You can use 2-3 Tbs dried herbs if raw herbs are not available.
- black pepper to taste
- Optional- 1 Tbs kefir whey
- Check your salmon for pin bones by gently rubbing along the fillet. Use tweezers to remove them.
- Rinse the fillet under cold water and pat dry. Cut the fillet in half.
- Mix the salt, honey, and pepper to make a paste.
- Put one piece of fish fillet skin side down in a glass container (I use one like this depending on the size. Many recipes use plastic wrap but I try to avoid that). Cover the fillet with the salt, pepper and honey paste. Squeeze the lemon and half of the kefir whey over the fish, then slice a few thin slices off the lemon and place them over the paste. Place the herbs over that.
- On a plate (or the lid of your pyrex container), smear the rest of the salt and honey paste on the fish side of the second piece of salmon fillet. Squeeze a bit more lemon juice and put the remaining half the kefir whey over the fillet. Slice the rest of the lemon into thin slices. Place them on top of the herbs that are on the 1st piece of fish.
- Put the second piece of fish, skin side up, over the lemon slices and herbs to make a fish “sandwich” with all the curing ingredients in the middle.
- Put the cover on your pyrex dish and place it into the fridge. Cure for 16-24 hours.
- Remove the fish and brush the curing mixture off the face of the fillet.
- Slice the fish cross fillet-wise with a very sharp knife, at a diagonal, and serve!
- The salt, sugar, lemon, and kefir whey all support preserving the fish from any questionable microbes. However, there are some parasites and other things that can be an issue, which is why it is recommended to freeze the salmon for at least 12 days, killing them, before making gravlax.
- This fish is delicious served with 24-hr GAPS sour cream, capers, red onion, and avocado.
- The fish keeps in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Do not leave it out on the counter, just slice what you want to eat and return it quickly to the fridge.
Did you make this? How did you like it? Tell us in the comments!
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2 thoughts on “How to Make Honey Gravlax”
Wondering if you process the gravlax while salmon is still frozen? Seems like we are not defrosting- do I have that right?
Thank you for catching this somewhat confusing wording! It would be hard to work with if the salmon were still completely frozen. However, partially thawed is easy to work with and would be ok to make the gravlax with. You would want the fish completely thawed by the time you put it into the refrigerator. I have updated the recipe, hopefully it is more clear now.
Hope you like it!
Certified GAPS Coach and Honest Body Assistant