Homemade gravlax is as easy as covering a sushi-grade piece of salmon with your favorite blend of kosher salt, Domino® Golden Sugar, and a few spices, then letting sit for up to 48 hours in a refrigerator. Other than the prep, this recipe is completely hands off. After two days, you’re left with an immensely flavorful cured salmon that is perfect on toast, bagels, mixed in with eggs, or eaten plain. You’ll be shocked by how simple it is to make gravlax.
*This post was sponsored by Domino® Sugar. All opinions are my own. I only support and promote brands that I believe in and use in my own kitchen – I hope you’ll check them out! Thank you for supporting the brands that make Well Seasoned possible.
What exactly is gravlax anyway?
Gravlax is salmon that’s been cured (or buried) in a mountain of salt, sugar, and fresh dill. Some recipes like this one call for the addition of ground spices, such as coriander, fennel, and peppercorns. Personally, I like including these flavors because I often serve gravlax with pumpernickel or rye, and those specific spices compliment each bread.
Essentially, they’re perfect together!
- kosher salt
- Domino® Golden Sugar
- coriander seeds
- fennel seeds
- white peppercorns
- fresh dill
- sushi-grade salmon
Domino® Golden Sugar can be used in all recipes as a cup for cup substitute for granulated sugar. Domino® Golden is a less-processed cane sugar that has a hint of molasses in flavor. It is perfect in this homemade gravlax!
How to make homemade gravlax
It’s as easy as mixing together kosher salt, Domino® Golden Sugar, and your favorite spices — I chose coriander, fennel, and pepper — pressing firmly onto all sides of the salmon, and then wrapping up with fresh dill. Let rest in a refrigerator for 36-48 hours, turning the fish over once.
Remove fish from plastic wrap and gently wipe off excess salt mixture. At this point, the gravlax is ready to eat and serve!
How much gravlax per person?
I usually allot 1/4 lb of fish per person, however not one single person is going to complain if you have leftovers. So if you’re going to make this, cure a large piece of fish and enjoy it all week long!
Can you cure other types of fish?
Almost any fish can be cured, but gravlax is a specific Nordic word for cured salmon. So yes, definitely feel free to branch out and try your hand at curing other fish, just remember that the amount of time you cure will effect the texture of your fish. And so with a fatty fish like salmon, you’re able to cure for a longer time than you might choose to with a firmer fish.
Can gravlax be frozen?
I would not freeze the whole cured piece of fish, however if you thinly slice the salmon (more on this below), you can wrap individual portions in plastic wrap and then freeze in ziplock bags or other airtight containers for up to 3 months.
How to slice gravlax
The first thing you need is a really, really sharp knife. I have a knife specifically for slicing cured fish, such as gravlax, lox, or nova. The blade is long, narrow, and extremely pliable, which makes it useful for cutting paper thin slices.
This is the Wusthof knife I own.
What to serve with gravlax
I love serving gravlax on rye or pumpernickel toast, or even a really great bagel (NYC, I’m lookin’ at you!). You can add a schmear of cream cheese – yes, that is a technical term – or smoked fish salad, then add gravlax and top with red onion, fresh dill, and capers.
Some people enjoy serving a traditional mustard sauce made up of dijon, ground mustard, sugar, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and fresh dill.
What is the difference between gravlax v. lox v. nova?
I’m so glad you asked, because they are definitely not one and the same! For a total run down on the difference between these cured and smoked fish, check out this post here.
Longer v. shorter cure time
Ideally, your salmon will cure for at least 24 hours, but 36-48 is even better. At this stage in the curing process, the salmon has firmed up a bit, but is still lightly cured. Meaning it’s got that luxurious and silky texture when sliced. If you let the salmon cure a bit longer, say 72 hours, you can expect a firmer texture to the flesh. I would not go any longer than this, as part of what makes gravlax so wonderful is the fact that it’s lightly cured and not at all tough to chew.
I feel as if we are now all solidly experts at making homemade gravlax. You have no excuses not to try this unbelievably simple recipe at home. Report back – I know you’re going to love!
Domino® Golden Sugar can be purchased here on Amazon!
If you make Homemade Gravlax, please let me know by leaving a review below!
For more brunch recipes, check out the following:
- ½ cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup Domino® Golden Sugar
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp white peppercorns
- 2 cups fresh dill
- 2 lb salmon sushi-grade
- Pumpernickel or rye bread
- Capers drained
- Fresh dill
- Cream cheese softened
- Toast coriander and fennel seeds, then grind with peppercorns until fine using either a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
- In a large bowl, combine salt, Domino® Golden Sugar, and ground spices.
- Pat salmon dry on both sides with paper towels. Turn salmon skin side up and press ½ of the salt mixture on top.
- On a medium rimmed baking sheet, lay out a large piece of plastic wrap, about twice the size of your salmon. Place half of the dill in the center of the plastic wrap, then add salmon, skin-side down. Pour remaining salt mixture on top of salmon, pressing down to cover fish entirely. Place remaining dill on top of salmon, then wrap fish with plastic wrap to seal on all sides. I like to add a second layer of plastic wrap, as liquid will be drawn out from the fish as it cures in the fridge. Turn fish so it is skin-side up, then place baking sheet in the refrigerator.
- Place a large heavy skillet or book (highly recommend wrapping this in plastic so it doesn’t get wet!) on top of salmon. Leave in refrigeratory for 36-48 hours, turning the salmon over once halfway through.
- When ready, open plastic wrap and discard dill and excess salt rub, wiping salmon down with a dry paper towel. Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and serve within 1 week.
- To serve: thinly slice salmon into paper thin strips. Serve on toasted pumpernickel or rye with a smear of softened cream cheese, fresh dill, and drained capers.