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Monday, January 21, 2013


Another winner from Jam It, Pickle it, Cure It book by Karen Solomon. I borrowed this book from the library last month and made the Lemon Curd. I have bought a copy of it and marked off all the recipes I want to make from it.

Gravlak is a Nordic dish made of raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar, and dill. I have never heard of this before. The only form of cured salmon I know is smoked salmon. I love smoked salmon but it is a bit pricey and often too salty, so it is not something I get to enjoy often.

Gravlak is not exactly the same as smoked salmon. But you do get the same salty salmon taste and similar texture. It is cheaper and less salty so is a winner in my book.

I have made this 3 times in the past 3 weeks and already craving for a fourth batch.

I have a habit of halving recipes. I usually do this when I'm trying something new. I don't know if we are going to like it so it's better to make smaller quantity.

To make this gravlak, I bought 1/2 lb of fresh Norwegian salmon. It is important to buy fresh salmon that has not been previously frozen. I have no idea how the salmon stay fresh from Norway to Denver though. Do they just pack it in ice? That's a lot of ice to use.

First cut the salmon lengthwise. Depending what your salmon piece looks like, you might have to cut it differently but always cut against the grain.

Then, patt the salmon dry with a paper towel. We want to salmon to be dry so the seasoning will stick. Also, the basic of curing process is to get the moisture out so as the salmon sits it will produce liquid.

Mix a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of salt in a small container and sprinkle it all over the salmon. You can't see from the picture but my salmon still has its skin. Leave the skin on. You also want to season the skin with the salt sugar mixture.

Sprinkle the salmon with freshly ground pepper and top it with a handful of fresh dill.

Wrap it in plastic wrap.

Place in a pyrex container. You want to use a container that can close well. Use an airtight container if you have one. It's no fun to have a fishy-smelling refrigerator. The salmon is going to emit liquid during the curing process so I place a piece of paper towel on the bottom of the container to absorb the liquid.

Let the salmon cure in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Rinse the salmon off and patt dry. Throw away the plastic wrap and dill. At this point I usually remove the skin.

Slice and enjoy!

I find that this keeps for 1 1/2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. I have been eating the gravlak plain on a piece of bread or on the side with some salad. You can check out some of the recipes below for ideas on additional topping (capers, lemon) or homemade sauce.

Recipe: Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon

There are a lot of recipes out there for Gravlak. Here are some that looks good:
Homemade Gravlak at Love and Olive Oil
Dilled Gravlak with Mustard Sauce at epicurious
Small-Batch Gravlak with Fennel-Orange Butter at the NY Times
Gravlak with Mustard Sauce by Ina Garten


  1. Looks good! But it´s actually called gravlaks. Laks means salmon.

    1. Thanks Anonymous, for the correction. I was following the recipe, which called it gravlak :).

  2. It's Gravlaks, not gravlak (or gravlax).

  3. My go to order whenever I am in IKEA...
    Thanks for the recipe :D

  4. I never realized it was so easy too make - I adore salmon do I must just try this!!

    1. Hi Afra, I didn't realize it's that easy either. I hope you'll like it!


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