Although you have to start 2 to 3 days in advance, this easy recipe serves many, looks great and tastes even better. For that reason one of our favourites when having friends over for drinks or as a starter for a nice dinner. Traditionally lax is made with just dill (not too problematic to buy in Russia;-)) but we like to use some other fresh herbs too.
preparation time 2-3 days
serves 15-20 people
1,5 kg fresh salmon on the skin, cut in 2 fillets that fit on top of each other (Metro)
150 grams of dill
25 grams of a mixture of chives, dill and parsley
2 shots of Vodka
1 tbsp of crushed pepper corns
1,5 tbsp of fine crystal sugar
2 tbsp of coarse sea salt
Double check the salmon on bones. The fish in Russian stores tends to be a bit less clean than we were use to. Wash the fish in cold water and dry thoroughly.
Put one of the fillets, skin side down, in the middle of a large piece of cling film. Sprinkle 1 shot of vodka over the fillet. Mix salt, pepper and sugar and spread evenly over the fillet. Roughly chop the dill and spread evenly on top too. Sprinkle the other shot of Vodka over the pink side of the second fillet and lay it on top of the first fillet, skin side up.
Wrap, not to firmly, the cling film around the fish. Lay the fish flat in a tray and put another dish or wooden board on top. Add something heavy (e.g. cans, rocks) to put pressure on the fish. Put in the fridge for 2-3 days, turn it around 2 times per 24 hours and sprinkle some of the fluids that come out, over the fish.
Before serving, scrape off the dill and sprinkle with some fresh and finely chopped dill, chives and parsley (or any other soft herbes to like). Cut the fish thinly in an 45 degree angle and put on a serving dish. We like it pure, just with some freshly squeezed lemon juice, but of course you can also add the traditional mosterd-dill-sauce.