Cured Trout for Easter

It’s Easter again and I’m planning to treat myself and guests to some cured trout. To cure trout I use the same method and ratio as when I make traditional Scandinavian gravlax. The recipe below is plain and simple. Not much more is needed for this delicate treat, but if you want to try something different you can add other flavors. Ederflower, ginger, crushed juniper or a shot of aquavit work really well. The list is endless.

Besides salmon and trout you can use this same method to cure other types of fish. Mackerel is an excellent option, and Keiko over at food blog Nordljus cured a good looking seabass with a scent of licorice. As I love licorice, I decided to add some toasted fennel seeds to my cure this Easter, which I think will go really well with the mild trout flavor.

for the curing you will need

1 kilo (2 lb) trout fillet
1 teaspoon freshly milled white pepper
4 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons sugar
bunch of dill

toasted whole fennel seeds (optional)

for decoration
fresh dill

Note: The trout should be frozen one or two days before you start the curing. The freezing will eliminate unnecessary bacteria.

It’s not hard to fillet your trout yourself. The benefit is that you can use the remaining parts (except for the guts) to make an excellent stock together with bay leaves, carrot, celery, onions, dills stalks, some herbs like thyme, salt and pepper.

If you still think this is too messy, ask your fishmonger to fillet the fish for you but remind them that the skin should be kept on.

When you have your fillets ready. Rinse them in some cold water and pull out, if there are any, remaining bones with a pair of pliers.

Mix together salt, sugar and pepper. Rub the fillet with some of the mixture and sprinkle the rest on top of the fillets. Wash the dill and chop finely. Put the fillets together, meat against meat with the chopped dill and (if you like) some toasted fennel seeds (slightly crushed) in between. Wrap the fish in a plastic foil. Let the fish cure in the fridge with something heavy on top for 48 hours. Turn them now and again.

After two days, unwrap and clean the fillets. Start to slice the trout at the end of the fish into thin diagonal slivers using a fillet knife (or any other suitable knife). Garnish with some dill branches and slices of lemon. They can be served on toast or dark bread. However this fish is sensational on a thin “knäckebröd” topped with a drip of Hovmästarsås. Enjoy!

Stir together 3 tablespoons mustard, 1 egg yolk, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar with plenty of chopped dill. Slowly start dripping in a little less than a 1/2 cup of olive oil into the mixture while stirring continuously (just like you make mayonnaise). If you add the oil too quickly the mixture can separate. The result should be a thick sauce. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Before buying any fish check with Seafood Watch (US) for the most sustainable options.


This article was originally published at Ecosalon, 5 April 2012

5 thoughts on “Cured Trout for Easter”

  1. Just want to say that the cured trout with the fennel was amazing. It really worked out well.

  2. Thanks Anna,
    I’m planing to draw another version (a friend of mine who used to be a fisherman and a chef claims there is a better way on how to fillet a fish :).

  3. Love your blog with the good pictures.

    But protesting regarding your recipe of Hovmästarsås.
    OK it can be made using egg yolk, but that is not standard. Only mustard, sugar and oil(canola-type) is my idea. Made like you describe.
    Never, never olive oil.

    My variety. Fine plus course mustard,lemon juice or vinegar, honey, cold pressed rape-seed oil (nutty taste and yellow). Same procedure as described above

    “Hovmästarsås” aka “gravlaxsås”.
    Since you missed telling.
    Hovmästare- swedish for “chief waitor”
    Supposedly he made this sauce (“sås” in swedish) in front of the customer before service. Hence the name.

    We swedes also enjoy this sauce together with cooked cold crab.The sweetness of the crab, is accentuated by the sauce.

  4. Hej Örjan,
    thanks for your inputs.
    I can agree that olive oil may not be the best oil for this. However a mild simple olive oil works fine (in my opinion). But I would never use a rich expensive olive oil.
    I have several discussion with serious cooks about using an egg or not in a Hovmästarsås, some say yes and some say no. I do both…

    BTW I use the same mustard sauce (without an egg) for mustard herring. Fantastic!

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