Homemade Salmon Gravlax doesn’t just make a stunning presentation. It also delivers bright, briny, savory, sweet, and salty flavors in every bite. This recipe may just become your new go-to brunch recipe that’s designed to impress.
Making your own gravlax is easier than you might think. In fact, this recipe takes just 15 minutes to prepare. Then simply pop it in the fridge and two days later, you’ll have deeply flavorful cured salmon ready for sharing (if you’re feeling generous).
Fresh dill and parsley add intense herby flavors that coat the fillet on the outside and infuse every bite with bright flavor. You can’t go wrong with a beautiful display of vibrant salmon gravlax at any meal, from breakfast to dinner.
How to Make Your Own Gravlax
With a bit of planning, you can whip up this simple but impressive dish with minimal effort.
First, it’s best to use whole spices and grind them fresh for this recipe. Freshly ground spices have a bolder flavor and aroma to match the richness of salmon. If you don’t have a spice grinder, a mortar and pestle will do the trick too. You don’t have to crush the spices into a fine powder, some larger spice pieces will add texture to the gravlax coating.
Next, add whole-grain mustard, brown, and coconut sugar to the spices. The sugars help cure the salmon from the outside in and add a bit of sweetness to match the otherwise savory flavors in the dish. While you can use another mustard, such as Dijon, the whole grains add texture and a rich, nutty note to the dish.
Finally, fresh herbs, a few red chili flakes and plenty of freshly grated lemon zest round out the spicy, acidic, and fresh aspects of the gravlax rub. If you like, add Pernod for a slightly bitter undernote.
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed
- 2 tablespoon whole white peppercorns
- ¼ cup whole grain mustard
- ½ cup coarse kosher salt (diamond crystal)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 2 cups dill, chopped
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons Pernod (optional)
- 4 pounds center-cut skin-on, salmon filet, pin bones removed (wild fresh salmon is best but frozen may be used)
- In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, lightly grind the cumin, coriander, and peppercorns.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the crushed spices with the mustard, salt, brown sugar, coconut sugar, dill, parsley, chili flakes, lemon zest, and Pernod (if using). Mix with a rubber spatula until well incorporated.
- Place the salmon skin side down in a glass dish and spread the curing mixture over the salmon. Be sure to use all of the curing mixture, adding more on the thickest part of the fish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 days.
- Remove the salmon from the refrigerator and drain off any excess liquid. Transfer the salmon to a cutting board skin side down and use a long sharp knife to carefully remove the skin from the fish. Discard skin. Slice the salmon at a 45-degree angle to your desired thickness.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Curing Salmon for Gravlax
Once you’ve mixed up the fragrant spice, herb, and mustard mixture, it’s time to cure your fish. Be sure to fully coat the salmon fillet in the seasoning mixture, and use it all! Add more to the thicker parts of the fish for even curing and bold flavor throughout.
Finally, wrap the fish to seal and place it in the fridge for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve, simply slice the fish with a long, sharp knife into delicate, thin slices and enjoy on bagels, toasts, salads, or with nothing but a fork!
If you love this gorgeous brunch recipe and are looking for more like it (including my favorite bread and bagels to serve with homemade salmon gravlax), be sure to follow along on Instagram!