Well, sort of “Refrigerator Smoked Fish”. This is actually a recipe for making homemade lox. I’m not advocating using the fridge for a smoker. What I AM suggesting is to find yourself some Salish to use to do a basic salt cure of some fish. ˈsāliSH is named for the American Indian peoples inhabiting areas of the northwestern US and British Columbia that make it. It’s sea salt that’s been smoked over an alderwood fire. After a sprinkle of this stuff, you’ll swear off “Liquid Smoke” forever.
What we’re going to do is a basic salt cure. This process was invented by Swedish fishermen that would bury their fresh catch in the salty shores and leave it to ferment. “Grav” means is a grave or a hole in the ground in the Scandinavian languages, and “lax” is salmon. In any language, gravlax is delicious.
The recipe for homemade smoked fish is to mix up a cure of equal parts table salt, salish, and brown sugar. Spread it out on a plate and top with the fish. I’m using tilapia because it’s cheap and this is an experiment at this point. Cover the fish with the same mixture.
After a couple of minutes, you’ll see the salt go to work! Curing has begun. What we’re doing is using salt to suck the moisture out of the fish. Traditionally, this was done to preserve the fish by creating an environment in the fish that bacteria and mold would not find hospitable: dry and salty.
Once you’re done watching, you can bag this all up in a zip-top bag and stash it in the fridge. Once a day, take it out and give the bag a little shake and smush the salt mixture around. This process is called “overhauling.” You should feel the fish firming up as the water is pulled out and mixing into the salt, creating a brine.
After a week in the fridge, we’re nearing Nirvana. Give the fish a good rinse and dry. Sharpen your longest slicer and slice off the thinnest little bits.
Salmon cured like this is called lox. I’m not sure what this would be called, but my homemade Gravröding recipe is delicious wrapped around some celery sticks!