I made a version of this last summer but with sockeye. The inspiration comes from one of my go to cooking shows with Pati Jinich. It’s superb and so easy to do but takes some planning. It needs 2-3 days to cure in the fridge.
If you enjoy this, I highly recommend you look up more by Pati Jinich. She will open your eyes to the depth and variety of Mexican cuisine and culture.
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder, ancho chile powder, or a Mexican mix
- 2 tablespoons kosher or coarse sea salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 pound fresh steelhead fillets, skin on, bones removed
- 2 tablespoons silver tequila
- 6 5-inch Flour tortillas, or whole grain bread, toasted
- 1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream if you can’t find the first
- 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, chopped
- 1 lime, halved
- Combine the cumin, chile powder, salt, pepper, sugar, lime zest and cilantro in a small bowl. Place the steelhead flat, skin-side up, in a long baking dish. Make 10 to 12 1-inch slashes in the skin with the tip of a knife, just deep enough to reach the flesh. Rub 1/3 of the salt mixture into skin, then flip the fish over, spoon the tequila over the fish and rub the remaining 2/3 of the salt mixture on the salmon.
- Cover the fish tightly with plastic wrap, then place a slightly smaller baking dish directly on top of fish and weigh it down with heavy unopened cans. Refrigerate for 2-3 days, basting with the resulting juices each night and re-covering and weighing back down again.
- When ready to serve, remove the gravlax from the refrigerator. Thinly slice the steelhead flesh, taking care not to cut through the skin and arrange the pieces on a platter. Serve with lightly toasted flour tortillas or toasted whole grain bread (keep warm in a clean kitchen towel, bread basket), and let everyone garnish with the creme fraiche, avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.