I made my first batch this week. Though the flavor is superlative, I found the texture of the fish to be a little bit on the gooey side. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to counteract this?
What sort of recipe did you use, and how long did you cure it?
Recipes with alcohol in them tend to denature more of the proteins, robbing the flesh of some texture.
Overlong 'cures' can do the same.
Someone once suggested that gravlax needs to be weighted while curing to press out excess liquids, but I haven't tried that. Might help the gooiness thing, I suppose.
And my final thought: did you use fresh fish or frozen? Keep in mind that freezing alters the texture of fish as well, and could be contributing to the goo. I've never tried curing once-frozen fish for gravlax, so this one is a SWAG.
The fish were frozen, and vodka was in the recipe.
I can't fight the frozen fish because I live in FL and brought them back from AK.
I can omit the vodka.
I will re-try, plus cold smoke for a half day for a little more firmness...
Thanks for the advice...
We've experimented a lot, even working with a couple of bonified Swedes and trying/adapting their recipes. Weight and time are critical to texture. It should be evenly distributed over the fish pieces, and the amount is variable with the size of the pieces. For a pair of whole fillets we use 20# for six days. For half fillets we use only 10# for 5 days. Extra cure time will increase flavor, as will fresh dill. But for cures longer than six days, you need to reduce the weight half way through.
And if you want REAL flavor, try "Mexican" gravlox substituting Southwest seasonings and cilantro for the traditional seasonings and dill. Our Swedish contacts insist rather huffily that it's not "real" gravlox, but reluctantly admit it is still really good.