Perfect Easy Salmon Gravlax

Perfect Easy Salmon Gravlax

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Cured raw salmon marinated in herbs. The word gravlax means grave. It’ is name came from Scandinavia. Many years ago fishermen salted the salmon and then fermented it by burying in the sand above the high tide level.
Usually salmon gravlax is sliced thinly and served as an appetiser. Also it can be used instead of smoked salmon. (Like making it with sushi, sashimi, sandwiches or salads)

Preparation & fermenting times; 24 1/4 hours.

500 – 750 g fresh salmon fillet, skin on, bones removed, pat dried
20 – 40 g fresh dill with young stem, washed, pat dried, chopped
50 – 75 g sea salt
50 – 75 g white sugar
1 (15 ml) level tbs lemon zest
1/4 – 1/2  level tsp ground white pepper
10 – 15  juniper berries, crushed
*or if juniper berries are not in the pantry then use 1 tbs fresh chopped rosemary or 1 full tsp dried rosemary
100 – 150 ml fresh lemon juice
100 ml fresh orange juice
15 – 30 ml cognac (brandy)



1. In a bowl mix dill, salt, sugar, lemon zest, white pepper and juniper berries. Rub all ingredients together with your hand to release the oil from dill, juniper berry and lemon zest. Add the lemon juice, orange juice and cognac to salt dill mixture, mix until well combined.

2. Sprinkle one-third (1/3) of salt dill mixture on a glass or ceramic baking dish.

3. Lay the salmon fillet skin side down on the salt dill mixture. Pour rest of the remaining mixture over the fillet.


4. Cover loosely with glad wrap ( plastic wrap) cover with another baking paper.




5. Place heavy object (like clean brick or cans of tomato) on top of the salmon to press the moisture down and out from the salmon. The salmon fillet must be evenly covered with the heavy object.

6. Place the salmon in refrigerator 24 to 36 hours to cure.

7. Remove cured salmon from the salt dill mixture, discard the salt dill mixture. Scrape any salt dill mixture off the salmon.

8. Lightly rinse the salmon under cold tap water, pat dry with kitchen paper towels.

9. Lay the salmon on the clean dried cutting board, slice the salmon thinly with a sharp knife. Discard the salmon skin.

Hints & Tips;

Leftover salmon should be glad wrapped with skin on and kept in the refrigerator for a week.

Can be kept in a freezer for up to two months. Partly thaw the salmon in room temperature for about 1 hour before slicing.

Rosemary with lemon juice can be used as a substitute for juniper berries when cooking. Both juniper berries and rosemary have a pine-like taste.


    • Can use equal amount of tarragon or chervil or use your favourable herbs. Do not use spring (green) onion

      Can use zest from 1 orange with fresh parsley or zest from 1 lemon with fresh parsley.

      Can use zest from 1 lemon with 2 (30 ml) level Tbs of crushed fennel seed.