Gravlax Salmon Recipe

easy simple healthy salmon recipes

This is one of those foods that I was very hesitant to try when I was younger, and I absolutely love it now! If you haven’t had it before, the basic idea is that you are curing raw (wild caught) salmon in salt, sugar and spices. It. Is. Delicious.

I tried a lot of recipes to figure out how to make this (because it is $7 per 4 ounces to buy!!) and finally found one that works well. This recipe from is the best one I’ve found, and this is probably by new favorite food! The recipe below is a slight adjustment from his, but check out his great tutorial.

If you haven’t tried Gravlax before, I highly recommend making this recipe. It is absolutely wonderful by itself, or on cucumber slices, or with cream cheese, or many other ways!

how to make gravlax lox

4 votes


Gravlax Salmon Recipe




Yield 4 +

A raw salmon preserved with sugar and salt for a delicious appetizer or meal.


  • 1 side of salmon with skin on (the skin is important)- preferably wild caught. Mine weighed about 1.2 lbs
  • 2 Tablespoons of sugar (I know, but it is minimal in the finished product)
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt (I used finely ground himilayan)
  • 1/2 cup dried dill (fresh is probably much better, but my garden was done with dill for the year)
  • 3-4 very thing slices of lime
  • plastic wrap
  • a small baking dish or large plate with high sides
  • a plastic gallon size ziplock


  1. Cut the salmon filet in half in to two pieces that are as close to the same size as possible. This is important
  2. Sprinkle the sugar and salt evenly over the flesh side of both filet pieces making sure you coat well.
  3. Sprinkle half of the dill evenly on ONE piece of the salmon.
  4. place the lime slices on top of the dill on that piece
  5. Sprinkle the other half of the dill on top of the limes, making sure they are covered.
  6. Carefully, place the second piece of salmon on top of the first one (the one with the sugar, salt, dill, etc)
  7. Wrap very tightly in plastic wrap and place carefully in the ziplock bag
  8. Put in baking dish or plate with high sides and place in the fridge.
  9. Flip over every 12 hours or so (not an exact science here)
  10. Wait 2 days (and no more than 3!!)
  11. To serve: scrape off the excess dill, limes etc and thinly spice with a filet knife to get it off the skin.
  12. Enjoy!

Courses Seafood

Every made Gravlax? Ever eaten raw cured fish? Tell me below!

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Reader Comments

  1. This looks really good!  Since I have tons of salmon we caught this summer so I will give it a try. 

  2. I have a chest freezer full of salmon. I usually make ceviche out of it, but this looks very good.
    I will give it a try.

  3. Just put mine in the fridge.  Will let you know how it turns out!

  4. question- when you take it out after the 2nd day to eat, how long after that will it last in the fridge?
    no more than one day?

    • I took about 3 days to eat before and it was definitely still good, but it is definitely better the fresher you eat it.

    • I know that I’m late to the party, but I cure it over three days, and we often take three or four days to finish it. It doesn’t lose any of it quality, as far as we can tell.
      I make this recipe for every holiday, and all our birthdays. Even my youngest (he’s 22 now) loves it, and he is NOT a fish fan.
      I have a question: I cannot find nutritional info for this. Been searching (that’s how I found your page).

  5. This is my family’s traditional christmas day breakfast with asparagus and has been for as long as i can remember.

  6. Did the two pieces go together face to face or skin to face? I’m guessing face to face, right?

    • Yes, face to face… should have specified, sorry!

  7. About 15 years ago I made gravlax using Atlantic salmon; it was OK. But I never made it again. HOwever,  right now on Cape Cod, one local supermarket is running a special on wild king salmon ($14.99 lb), the other on wild sockeye salmon (9.99 lb). Both markets advertise that the fish is flown in daily. Both prices are half what I pay home in NYC.  So I’d like to try making it again using wild salmon. Which would you opt for: King or sockeye?

    • Probably sockeye, but either would be good.

    • I have heard King (Chinook) is the ideal salmon for lox/gravlax.

  8. i buy frozen salmon at Walmart and it’s only 10.00 per pound. It’s in the freezer section and is wild caught. You think there is any catch there as to why it’s so much less expensive than the price you mentioned above?

  9. Sugar? I live in Sweden and make gravlax frequently, but I have never heard of adding sugar to the recipe! I bet you can do easily without it!

  10. Norwegian Gravlaks

    2 Salmon fillets with skin, ca 1kg
    2 small egg cups cognac
    2 T salt
    1 T sugar
    A large pinch of yellow mustard seeds
    3 bunches fresh dill

    Dry the fish with paper towl. It should Not be rinsed in water!

    The 2 fillets should be the same size, or if you only have one, cut it in half down the middle.

    There should be no bones left, remove them with a tweezer.

    Rub in both fillets with the coganc. Then rub the sugar salt and mustard mixture carefully but thoroughly into the fillets.

    spread a bunch of dill on the bottom of the container you are using.
    Put one fillet, skinside down on the dill.

    Chop one bunch of dill finely and cover the filet with it. Put the other fillet on top, skin side up.

    Spread the last bunch of dill over the top.

    Put some plastic wrap on the fish and weight it, wiht a carton of milk for example. This alleviates having to turn the fish over.

    The fish should get some “air”, it shouldn’t be covered totally.

    takes 2 to 3 days.

    Varations: add freskly ground roasted black pepper to the salt/sugar mixture. You can replace the coganc with Norwegain Aquavit, not Danish, and the mustard seeds with caraway, but not both togehter.

    The gravat laks is cut from the thick side at a very flat angle so after a few cuts the slices become quite big. They should be as thin as carpaccio.

    This is traditionaly eaten with Sennepssaus, a sweet mustard sauce:
    4 T Dijon Mustard
    1 T sugar
    1 T 7% vinegar
    3 T grapeseed oil, or any other oil without taste
    4 T cream
    2 T fresh dill, finely chopped
    Salt and Pepper

    Mix all ingedients and season with salt and pepper to taste.

    This is accompanied with scrabled egg and potato salad

    • Is that a warm or a cold potato salad? Vinaigrette or something like mayonnaise? Sounds perfect to me, either way! Julia Child did Gravlaks about forty years ago. It was on one of her television series and I’ve wanted to try it ever since. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • This sounds fabulous! I lived in Germany many years ago and this just brings back memories of weekend Abendbrot ( cold evening meal). This would be great with a really good Bauernbrot cob (whole grain farmer’s rye bread) and any local European beer. Yum!! Going to the market to get some salmon. . . .

  11. Salmon is my absolute favorite and I’m always trying new ways to prepare it! I’ve actually found that I just don’t like it any other way than with a little bit of olive oil and Himalayan pink salt! Cook it for about 20 minutes and it’s perfection.

  12. Are there any alternatives to using plastic wrap to keep it all together? I have a phobia 🙂