After years of splurging on gravlax in specialty grocery stores and bagel shops, I decided to try to make it myself. I researched several recipes and made it a couple of times before settling on my favorite method, which really showcases the salmon’s natural flavor and has a butter soft texture.  Although it may seem a little intimidating, making gravlax is super easy and well worth it if you love it as much as I do.  Just imagine the possibilities: the classic gravlax bagel with sliced red onions, tomato, cream cheese and pungent little capers, gravlax with juicy springtime fruit, tomato and avocado salad with herbs and gravlax, gravlax with dill mustard on crackers, even slices by themselves!


  • One 2-3 lb salmon filet with skin on
  • zest of two limes
  • 4-6 tbsp kosher salt
  • 4-6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp fresh dill

Place salmon filet on a cutting board and run your hands over every piece of flesh, pulling out any bones.  Use needlenose pliers for bones that are particularly stubborn.

Place salmon filet skin side down on a large piece of plastic wrap, twice or three times the length of the filet.

In a medium bowl, mix together the lime zest, kosher salt, brown sugar and dill.  Sniff the container after all is mixed.  For pleasure.


Spread the mixture all over every inch of the salmon’s flesh.

Fold the filet in half, skin side out, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Once wrapped, wrap again with more plastic wrap.  wrap wrap wrap wrap. (what a weird word)

Place the wrapped filet in a container and place another, heavier container on top of it to keep an even weight compression.  Put it all together into the fridge and forget about it for 3-4 days.

After it has cured, the filet wrapper will be oily.  Unwrap the filet and pat dry with a paper towel if excessively oily.

With a very sharp knife, at an angle, carefully carve off thin slices, leaving the skin intact.


You’ll end up with a much larger pile of salmon than $9 will buy you in any specialty shop.


Sliced gravlax will keep in the fridge for up to a week.


One thought on “Gravlax

  1. Pingback: Lox bagel | dining out, cooking in

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