Recipe: Gravlax

Makes : 10-12 appetizer servings | Appetizers/Snacks , Breakfast/Brunch Dairy Free
Gravlax feels like a special-occasion dish, but it's really quite easy to make. The hardest part is probably slicing the fish. Just use a super sharp knife (long-bladed if possible), and cut the salmon on a diagonal to keep the slices ultra-thin. If the fish sticks to the knife, try dipping the blade in water between slices. You'll be a pro in no time.


  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • One skinless 3-pound salmon fillet, in one piece, pin bones removed
  • 3 cups roughly chopped fresh dill (about 2 bunches), plus 1/4 cup chopped dill for the sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vodka or aquavit (optional)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil


  • Roughly crush the peppercorns and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle or pulse a few times in a spice grinder. Combine with the 1/2 cup kosher salt and sugar in a small bowl. Line a rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. Put about a quarter of the salt mixture on the baking sheet where the fish will sit; top it with the salmon. Sprinkle the remaining salt mixture over the fish and pat it down with your hands. Top the fish with the 3 cups dill and pour the optional vodka over the top. Cover the fish with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature to start the curing process, about 4 hours. (The sugar and salt will start to liquefy.)
  • Refrigerate the fish for 36 to 48 hours (use the shorter time for thinner fillets, longer for thicker fillets). Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and scrape the seasonings off the fish with your hand or the back of a knife. At this point you can slice and serve the fish, or put it on a clean baking sheet and refrigerate it, covered, for up to a week. (Just be sure to remove the seasonings after 48 hours.)
  • Make the sauce: In a blender, combine the honey mustard, vinegar, ground coriander, ground pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. With the machine running, add the vegetable oil to form a thick dressing. Pour it into a small bowl and stir in the chopped dill. The sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • Transfer the gravlax to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice the fish at a diagonal into ultra-thin slices. You may want to dip the knife in water between slices to keep the fish from sticking to it. Arrange the slices on a serving platter as you cut them. Serve the gravlax with the sauce.
  1. ooo – gravlax…. 🙂 My husband is 100% Danish, and I’m part Danish, part Swedish (which he tries to ignore) plus a mix of some other northern European countries. We absolutely love gravlax. But you know what. I’ve never made it myself! I’m going to keep this recipe handy and make it for Christmas this year. I can’t wait!

    • laura says: (Author)

      It’s super, super easy and always part of our December holidays. The hardest part about it is thinking ahead so you give the salmon time to cure.

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