How to Make Gravlax

The Scandinavian dish gravlax is a delectable alternative to the often imported and expensive smoked salmon. This recipe is easier on the old checkbook, tastes amazing and provides anyone with a great new option to enjoy the specialty as often as you’d like without the bank balance taking a hit. It’s also a hassle-free substitute, having to only let the salmon cure in equal parts salt and sugar, herbs like dill and fresh cracked pepper, for about 2-3 days. That’s it. You toss it, wrap it in cheesecloth and let it sit for a few days. In the end you get tender and flavor packed salmon that pairs perfectly with rye crackers, a bagel or pumpernickel bread. To really kick it up and give it a nice presentation, garnish your little arrangements with capers, a slice of lemon and some fresh dill for the ultimate final touch and flavor enhancer. As a great pairing, this traditional Norwegian dish is typically served with an equally savory potato salad.

Instead of splurging on the smoked stuff, treat your next dinner party guests (or yourself) to some homemade, cured salmon. Watch this video tutorial and online cooking course and explore how to make mouthwatering gravlax.


½ Whole Salmon
2 lb Kosher Salt
2 lb Granulated Sugar
1 oz Black Peppercorn
1 bunch Fresh Dill
1 bunch Fresh Tarragon
1 bunch Fresh Parsley
1 bunch Fresh Chives
1 bunch Fresh Thyme
1 bulb Fresh Fennel
2 oz Pernod
4 Bay Leaves
4 Star Anise
4 Cloves
3 Lemons (Zest Only)
24 inches Cheesecloth


1. Scale and filet salmon.
2. Combine salt and sugar.
3. Place all other ingredients in a food processor with some of the salt/sugar mixture and process until uniform. Mix with the rest of the cure.
4. In a full 2” pan, place a rack and enough cheesecloth to be able to wrap the fish in one layer. Place 1” cure on the cheesecloth, then the salmon, then the remaining cure. Wrap in cheesecloth. Ensure entire filet is covered.
5. Refrigerate, uncovered for 48-72 hours depending on thickness of filet.
6. Rinse quickly in cold water and allow to air dry overnight on a rack.
7. Slice thinly and serve.


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