Homemade Salmon Gravlax

Homemade Salmon Gravlax

I’ve had my two and a half year old daughter Elodie in the kitchen with me, cooking and baking almost daily, since she was 15 months old. What started out as basic (and messy) stirring has since evolved into Elodie being able to crack eggs on her own, stir soup in a pot at the stove, and earlier this week, helping me make homemade salmon gravlax.


Homemade Salmon Gravlax

Think of salmon gravlax as smoked salmon with no smoke. The texture is similar, but the flavour is lighter and brighter.

We used this method from Serious Eats however, because we were experimenting, I chose to start with a much smaller portion of fish. The ratio of fish to cure we used was:

  • 125g fillet of salmon, skin on

  • 21 g salt

  • 14g sugar

  • A couple of pinches of white pepper

  • Enough fresh dill to make a bed under the fish, and to cover the top

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Homemade Salmon Gravlax

Each time we’re in the kitchen together, I encourage Elodie to be hands on with as many tasks as possible. While preparing the salmon gravlax I had Elodie dump salt into a container of water, then stir it, for the initial soak of the salmon. She helped me measure and mix the salt, sugar, and pepper for the cure, and she pulled all of the dill fronds from their stems. Elodie then placed all of the dill fronds under and on top of the salmon, and helped place a weight on top of the fish for its duration in the fridge. She is a great helper!

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Homemade Salmon Gravlax Recipe

Homemade Salmon Gravlax

by Kelly Neil, adapted from Serious Eats


  • 125 grams fresh salmon, skin on
  • 21 grams sea salt
  • 14 grams sugar
  • 2 pinches white pepper
  • Enough fresh dill to make a bed under the fish, and to cover the top


  1. Fill a container large enough to hold the fish with water and salt the water generously. Gently place the fillet in the salted water and soak 10 minutes. Rinse well under cool running water and pat dry. Dump the salt water out of the container, rinse, and dry.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the sea salt, sugar, and white pepper.
  3. Place a layer of dill fronds in the container, large enough to make a bed under the fillet. Place the fish on top of the dill and cover the fillet, top and sides, with the salt-sugar cure.
  4. Layer the top of the fish with more fresh dill, then cover the fillet with plastic wrap. Place a weight on top of the salmon (we used a loaf pan with a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes inside) and place in the fridge overnight.
  5. The next day, remove the plastic wrap and dill from the top of the fish, flip it over, replace the dill, and recover with fresh plastic wrap. Place the weight back on top of the salmon and put it back in the fridge overnight.
  6. Remove the fish from the container, and pick off all of the dill fronds. Rinse the salmon well under cool running water, then slice thinly with the sharpest knife you have. Serve with rye or brown bread, quick pickled red onions, and aioli.

Salmon gravlax is a simple to make, decadent treat that is wonderful on toasted brown bread smeared thick with butter. Try topping it with radishes, and quick pickled onions, with an 8-minute boiled egg on the side.

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