Gravlax Recipe

This traditional Scandinavian dish is a delicious way to add fish to your lacto-fermentation repertoire.

| June 2019

Photo from Adobe Stock


  • Lacto-ferment
  • Ferment at room temperature
  • Fermentation time: 6 hours
  • Fermentation time in the refrigerator: 24 to 30 hours

In traditional Scandinavian cooking, the liquid released by the salmon as it cures is used to make a mustard sauce.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 bunches fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 salmon fillet (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 3/4 tablespoons vodka

Photo from Adobe Stock


  1. To prepare the gravlax cure, combine the sugar, salt, and dill in a bowl, rubbing the dill into the salt and sugar to bruise it.
  2. Remove the pin bones from the salmon. To check for pin bones, run your fingertip gently from one end of the fillet to the other along the seams in the flesh. Pull out any small bones you find with tweezers or needle-nose pliers.
  3. Lay the salmon on a large piece of doubled cheesecloth. The piece should be large enough to wrap around the fish two or three times. Brush the vodka over the salmon.
  4. Pack half the gravlax cure on the top of the salmon. Bring the cheesecloth over the salmon and turn the fillet over. Fold the cheesecloth back to expose the bottom side and pack it with the remaining cure.
  5. Fold the cheesecloth around the salmon securely, folding in the sides
  6. Makes 1 fillet (ten to twelve 2-ounce servings)

More from Fermentation for Beginners:

fermentation-for-beginnersFermented foods are a delicious and rich source of nourishment. However, many beginners are skittish about starting the process of fermentation for the first time. With straightforward guides, delicious recipes, and step-by-step instructions, Fermentation for Beginners takes the stress out of at-home fermentation. Whether you are trying fermentation to improve your health, or just want to explore this time-tested culinary skill, this book will be your guide to the art of fermentation and the science of probiotic foods. It will show you how and why to ferment your own foods, with 60 recipes providing step-by-step instructions for safe and effective fermentation, helpful tips covering the ingredients and equipment you need to start fermenting at home and an overview explaining the science behind fermentation. With the right combination of microbes and a little skill, Fermentation for Beginners will give you all the tools you need to start fermenting your own foods right away.

Reprinted with permission from Fermentation for Beginners: The Step-by-Step Guide to Fermentation and Probiotic Foods  by Drakes Press and published by Drakes Press, 2013.



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