Friday, 13 November 2009

Tuna Gravadlax

Never one to read a recipe without immediately wanting to stamp my mark on it, I had the slightly dubious idea of making gravadlax from tuna instead of the traditional salmon.

Undeterred by a Google trawl which returned no similar ideas I ventured into the fishmonger, full of excitement about my culinary invention soon to take the world by storm.

Less than impressed by the idea, they quickly assured me it wouldn’t work, tuna being a very different beast to salmon.

Which is pretty obvious really, I’d realised they weren’t first cousins, but not a reason to give up entirely. They’re both oily aren’t they? And they swim, have scales, fins and gills. Bound to work.
Yet as the fishmonger sceptically wrapped up the gleaming red tuna loin my confidence in this fledgling food was definitely dented.

A few days later it turns out I needn’t have worried though because it works and not only does it work but it’s definitely worth trying out.

The flesh kept its lustrous winey hue, made even more vibrant by the leafy green shards of dill. Finer in texture than when made with salmon, the paper thin slices are unexpectedly delicate.

The colour makes it somehow exotic and it’s delicious eaten on its own, between your fingers with a drink, as you would eat carpaccio or parma ham. Otherwise I’m sure it would pair well with rye bread, drizzled in lemony crème fraiche.

Unlike with a single slab of salmon the two layers of tuna fuse together during the curing time, sandwiching the herbs you use between them. Each slice then has a thick vein of green running through the middle but I wonder what would happen with a little imagination and the addition of red chillies or strips of lemon rind.

Tuna Gravadlax

225g very fresh tuna loin
1 ½ desert spoons rock salt
1 ½ desert spoons white sugar
1 tsp dried dill
15g fresh dill
a little olive oil

In a bowl mix together the salt, sugar and dried dill.

Take a sheet of foil and spoon roughly one third of the salt mixture into the middle. Spread out to about the same size as the tuna slices and place a slice on top. Cover the tuna slice with another third of the salt mix and cover this with a layer of dill leaves. Place the second slice of tuna on top of this, followed by the remaining salt and sugar and a few more leaves of dill.

Fold the foil tightly round the tuna to form a neat parcel. Then wrap in a second layer of foil. Place on a deep plate or flat bottomed container with a second plate on top to weigh it down slightly. Leave in the fridge for two to three days turning the parcel once or twice and draining away any liquid.
Discard any liquid and unwrap the parcel. Slice as thinly as possible and serve with ribbons of beetroot and cucumber. Or freeze for up to three months. It slices even more easily if partially frozen.

1 comment:

  1. This looks truly delightful. I am a massive fan of tuna and it's making my mouth water!