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Mexican-Style Gravlax with Cilantro and Tequila

24 small toasts
Gravlax con Cilantro y Tequila


  • 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 salmon, skin on, bones removed
  • 2 tablespoons silver tequila
  • 6 5-inch Flour tortillas, or whole grain bread, toasted
  • 1 cup Mexican crema
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, chopped
  • 1 lime, halved

To Prepare

  • Combine the cumin, chile powder, salt, pepper, sugar, lime zest and cilantro in a small bowl. Place the salmon 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 salmon 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 or tortillero), and let everyone garnish with the crema, avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.