One beautiful day a few months ago, while walking around downtown Savannah, we wandered into a shop called the Salt Table. Super curious as I couldn’t imagine a store just with salt to sell, but wow was I amazed at the various salt products-salt seasonings, savory and sweet, Himalayan salt blocks for cooking and serving, pottery and even a local honey. I chose one pink Himalayan salt block mainly for its beauty and as a potential serving plate for sushi, ice cream or cheese and crackers. I was told that each block is at least 200 million years old and are found exclusively in Pakistan’s Himalayan Mountain Range. After arriving back home, I began a search for recipes using the block. A salmon gravlax recipe from Mark Bitterman’s Salted, a Manifesto piqued my interest, but it required two salt blocks. So back to the store for another one!
The above photo shows the first two steps of the process of curing the salmon. A bed of fresh dill is laid upon the block, then the salmon which was rubbed with a brown sugar, dry mustard, coriander seed and black pepper curing mixture. Another bed of dill is laid on top of the salmon. The bottom set of photos shows the top salt block pressed on top of the dill. The two blocks are wrapped in plastic wrap, then placed on a 1-inch deep baking pan and refrigerated for 1-3 days. Upon checking the salmon, two days was enough to cure the two fillets.
Salmon Gravlax on a Himalayan Salt Block
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 Himalayan salt blocks, same size each
1 piece commercially frozen salmon fillets to fit salt block, thawed
1 bunch fresh dill, reserve some for garnish
Creme fraiche, toast points, or crackers to serve. Sprigs of dill for garnish
Combine brown sugar, black pepper, dry mustard and coriander seeds. Rub it on the fleshy side of the salmon. Using photos above as a guide, lay a bed of fresh dill on one salt block. Lay salmon over the dill. Top with another bed of fresh dill. Place second salt block over the assembled salmon. Wrap the salmon salt block “sandwich” with plastic wrap and place on a rimmed baking sheet. The salmon will exude some juices while it is curing. Refrigerate for 1-3 days depending on the thickness of the salmon fillets. Mine took 2 days. The salmon should lose its raw look, feel resilient to the touch and be somewhat opaque.
When salmon has cured, rinse fillets in water and pat dry. Thinly slice and serve with crackers, creme fraiche or toast points. Garnish with dill. Salmon will last several days refrigerated.
Two Salt Blocks with Carry Bags
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