To make the rub (or curing mixture) for the gravlax, combine the sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
Heat a fry pan to medium-high heat and toast the star anise and fennel seeds. Set aside to cool. Once cool, grind the star anise, fennel and peppercorns. Add the ground spices to the salt and sugar mix. Chop the dill and mix everything together.
Next, remove any pinbones from the salmon, along with the thin part of the belly and any excess fat.
Using a casserole dish that is large enough for the salmon to lie flat, sprinkle a layer of the curing mixture to lightly coat the bottom of the dish. Lay the fish skin side down and sprinkle a generous amount of the curing mixture onto the top side of the salmon. Depending on the size of your fish, you may not need to use all of the curing mixture. Just be sure you have an even layer on the top side of the fish.
Next, lay a piece of plastic wrap over the fish, followed by a smaller casserole dish to rest over the plastic wrap. Add a weight to the dish (such as a few heavy cans). Allow the salmon to cure for approximately two days in the refrigerator. Turn the salmon over once each day to ensure that it is being evenly cured. After about 48 hours, brush off any remaining curing mixture and keep the salmon wrapped in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup coarse salt
- 2 tsp whole star anise
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp white peppercorns
- 1/4 cup fresh dill
- 1 whole fresh salmon fillet