Step by Step Home Cured Gravlax (Salmon)

It’s month two of the Food in Jars Canning Challenge–and I’m still psyched.  This time I’ve made Home Cured Gravlax (Salmon).  

Home cured gravlax is delicious and a better value than heading to the deli. And it is super easy with this step by step guide.

Home Cured Gravlax

If you’re not familiar with gravlax, it is (per Wikipediaa Nordic dish consisting of raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar, and dill. Gravlax is usually served as an appetizer, sliced thinly and accompanied by  a dill and mustard sauce, either on bread, or with boiled potatoes.” 

Home cured gravlax has been on my list ever since I saw it made on PBS’s New Scandinavian Cooking show.  Nothing like watching food prepared with a backdrop of scenic coasts and soaring mountains to make you want to try it yourself.  

Home cured gravlax is delicious and a better value than heading to the deli. And it is super easy with this step by step guide.

Home Cured Gravlax, Served

Many people are motivated to try this due to the high price of lox.  If you are paying $60/lb at a New York deli, I would totally understand this.  Since I might have headed to Trader Joe’s for cheap lox–and bought expensive salmon for this, I can’t claim a financial motive. 

But the flavor was amazing—mild and without a trace of fishiness, which I have sometimes found even in expensive deli lox.  

Home cured gravlax is delicious and a better value than heading to the deli. And it is super easy with this step by step guide.

Eating Home Cured Gravlax

And just as important, the preparation was truly easy.  The hardest part was slicing it when I was done!  Here’s how it goes:

I started out with two pieces of similarly sized salmon, each just under a pound (if you have just a single piece you can cut it in half).  I deboned them with a special tweezers, but for years I washed and used pliers my husband retrieved from the basement. I also decided to trim off the thin portions of my fish (optional).  
I mixed up sugar, salt and pepper and rub it into the cut (non-skin) sides of the fish. 

Then I laid one piece skin side down in a well-fitting tray, topped with dill.

Then added the second piece, skin side up

I then covered the tray with plastic wrap (leaving some slack) 

then placed a smaller tray on top which I weighted with canned goods. 

Now it needs to sit in the refrigerator for 3 days, and get turned every 12 hours (or 24 if you forget).   

After 3 days, I removed the fish, rinsed off the excess salt mixture and sliced the fish on the diagonal with a sharp knife (discard the skin).  It’s a little intimidating but no one is going to be grading you on your evenness I told myself!

Home cured gravlax is delicious and a better value than heading to the deli. And it is super easy with this step by step guide.

Slicing home cured gravlax

I served mine on homemade rustic rye, with a homemade garlic aioli.  Mmmm!

Home Cured Gravlax
Serves 32
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55 calories
2 g
18 g
2 g
8 g
0 g
32 g
483 g
1 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 55
Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 18mg
Sodium 483mg
Total Carbohydrates 2g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 1g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 lb salmon filet (1 large filet, cut into 2 pieces or 2 medium)
  2. 2 Tablespoons sugar
  3. 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  4. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  5. 1 cup of loosely packed dill
  1. Place one piece of salmon, skin side down, in a deep tray. Combine the salt, sugar and pepper and sprinkle it evenly over the piece of fish. Top with dill.
  2. Place the other half of salmon over the dill, skin side up. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place a smaller pan on top and weigh it down with some heavy cans.
  3. Refrigerate the salmon for 3 days, turning it every 12 -24 hours.
  4. After 3 days, rinse each piece of salmon. With a long, sharp knife, slice the salmon on a diagonal like you cut smoked salmon. Discard the skin.
  5. Serve open faced on rye with mustard sauce or aioli or on bagels with cream cheese.
Art of Natural Living
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10 thoughts on “Step by Step Home Cured Gravlax (Salmon)

  1. Pingback: Hot Pepper Jelly. Plus (Surprise) Syrup. Oops. - Art of Natural Living

    1. Inger Post author

      I was happy with how it went. And when I asked my husband if I should do it again and he’s like, “um, YES” You should give it a try!

    1. Inger Post author

      Aren’t we lucky to have foods like salmon that are both healthy and delicious Agness!

  2. cheri

    Hi Inger, I have always been intimidated by this process, your lox looks like it turned out perfect. Very impressive. Enjoying this challenge, learning alot.

    1. Inger Post author

      I am so happy to have you “canning along” on this challenge Cheri! I’d still like to try the egg yolks and citrus salt if I can get those in. I have been intimidated by gravlax too–it truly has been on my list for years. Glad this pushed me forward

  3. David

    Thanks for this recipe, Inger! I have always wanted to make my own gravlax, and you have encouraged me to try it soon! What kind of salmon did you use?

    1. Inger Post author

      I think I grabbed the coho salmon David. I still have a good supply of various types of salmon from my Community Supported Fishery, so this was perfect for the challenge. You have to give it a try!

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