<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d7262652\x26blogName\x3d2,046+Sutras\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://bodyelectric.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://bodyelectric.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d5251368999655232983', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Dreaming of gravlax


One recent addition to my comfort food list is a combo plate of ebi tempura and salmon sashimi. This was my last meal before I boarded my Singapore plane back to Manila. When an itch for travel or a yearning for the Lion City crawls under my skin, I run to Tokyo Tokyo for a cheap form, and make do with its malnourished version of the raw fish. Then the scene is transformed into a hole-in-the-wall in the Raffles basement, and the waitress, a Japanese woman who aged gracefully in the tropical weather, hands me my bill in silence.

Just yesterday I discovered gravlax. It's not the drug for constipation, but if you didn't do the recipe right it might be. It's not smoked salmon we see in hotel buffets, but one cured in dill (or in this case, lemon verbena or lemongrass) and salt for two or three days. Just a slice and I smell Scandinavia what it ought to be in my imagination, snow snow snow everywhere, much like how coriander turns my kitchen into a busy Chung Li night market where the pungency of barbecues mingles with the breath of a Taiwanese girl.

Brushing aside the family propensity for colon cancer, I subscribe to the maxim "Life is too short to drink bad wine and to eat bad food." from Mireille Guiliano, author of "French Women Don't Get Fat". I won't finish canteen food if the dinuguan is just pork fat swimming in sacrilegious coagulation, a bangus relleno when the meat is boardy as leather, or the notorious Backburner from Kitchen which is more rice coffee than chicken soup. I won't say no to clear fish soup like pesa or grilled tuyo paired with tomatoes. But pork swimming in thick sauce gives me the vertigo, unless it is pressure-cooked pork humba with its caramel-coated flesh melting in my mouth like infinity. I'd trade my soul for a wedge of gravlax, or even a thick strip of sashimi.

That would be indulgence.

*Image courtesy of Cooking for Engineers.

“Dreaming of gravlax”

  1. Anonymous Nikki Says:

    I've been a salmon addict since Dean and I lived in Hong Kong. You could get the fattest, richest salmon sashimi right at the grocery there, conveniently packaged with soy sauce and wasabi!Back in Manila, I have to make do with Kitaro, which is not too bad for the price. Now if only I knew where to find some gravlax... :)

  2. Anonymous Nikki Says:

    I've been a salmon addict since Dean and I lived in Hong Kong. You could get the fattest, richest salmon sashimi right at the grocery there, conveniently packaged with soy sauce and wasabi!Back in Manila, I have to make do with Kitaro, which is not too bad for the price. Now if only I knew where to find some gravlax... :)

  3. Anonymous sky Says:

    Hi Nikki, fellow salmon addict: Gravlax is very easy to make. Dill can be found in Landmark or in a specific stall in Farmer's Market in Cubao. The name escapes me at this moment. Now if only there is a store which sells reliably fresh salmon.

  4. Anonymous slim whale Says:

    shit, man, you made me salivate.

  5. Anonymous banzai cat Says:

    Hehe I'm sorry. Whenever I see the word "gravlax" (kahit na i-explain), I still think of constipation. Whoever thought up of that word needs a re-think. :-D