Traditional salmon gravlax

This traditional gravlax recipe is one of the first things I learned how to make at culinary school in Paris. 

It’s one of those recipes that you think are super complicated to make, like foie gras or homemade ghee. In fact, it couldn’t be easier! Let me teach you how to make delicious, cured salmon gravlax at home with my easy recipe and all the tips & tricks that my chef gave me at cooking school.

What you need to make this traditional Gravlax recipe:

All you really need is the best quality raw salmon that you can find (sashimi-grade), plus 2 other ingredients you already have in your pantry: sugar and salt.

I like to add fresh dill to keep this traditional gravlax recipe…well, traditional! But if you don’t like dill you can add other fresh herbs like tarragon, chives, or parsley. 

Traditional gravlax recipe

How to serve Salmon Gravlax:

The traditional gravlax recipe calls for a sweet and sour honey mustard sauce. But personally, I’m not a huge fan.

Instead, I like to slice the salmon quite thick and then eat it with fresh, warm blinis. I also make a simple horseradish cream with thick creme fraiche d’Isigny (or sour cream if you can’t find it), and a teaspoon or two of horseradish. Add a bit of salt and pepper, plus some fresh chives, and you’re good to go!

This recipe is also perfect if you’re serving a crowd because you get 1 kilo out of it, and is a great addition to any festive or holiday meal.

Salmon gravlax for Christmas brunch
See how nice this gravlax looks on the table for Christmas brunch?

Traditional Gravlax recipe & how-to video:

Traditional salmon gravlax
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5 from 1 vote

Traditional Salmon Gravlax

This traditional Gravlax recipe is a super easy way to make cured salmon at home!
Prep Time10 minutes
Curing time2 days
Total Time2 days 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cured salmon, gravlax, salmon, salmon gravlax
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Gitanjali


  • 1 kilo raw salmon sashimi grade or the highest quality you can find
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 300 g coarse sea salt
  • 200 g white sugar


  • Start by mixing the salt, sugar, and coarsely chopped dill in a bowl using a spoon or your fingers.
  • Lay out a long sheet of plastic wrap on your counter (long enough to fit the piece of salmon and go around it a couple times).
  • Put half of the salt/sugar/dill mixture on top of the plastic wrap. Spread it out in a thick layer that's approximately the size of the salmon fillet.
  • Lay the salmon on top of the salt mixture, skin side down.
  • Cover the top of the salmon with the remaining salt/sugar mixture, packing it down as tightly as possible.
  • Wrap the fish completely and as tightly as possible in the plastic wrap, all the way around (you can even do a couple of layers to make sure it's completely wrapped up).
  • Place the salmon in a large tray or baking dish. Put some heavy weights on top of it (I usually use 3 or 4 cans of beans or tomato sauce).
  • Place the salmon in the fridge and flip it every 12 hours for anywhere between 36 to 48 hours. You can even go up to 3 days if you like the salmon to be very cured.
  • When you're done curing it, unwrap the salmon from the plastic wrap, scrape off all of the salt, and dry it with a paper towel. Place the cleaned, cured salmon on a plate and return it to the fridge for a couple of hours before slicing and serving.

Recipe notes:

-The curing time can be personalized: anywhere between 24 hours and 48 hours, or even up to 3 days works! It all depends on how cured you like your gravlax. The longer you let it cure in the salt, the saltier and drier it will be. The less you leave it, the more it will taste like seasoned sashimi.

-Salt: be sure to get coarse sea salt or Kosher salt. In France, sel gris works perfectly.

-Sugar: make sure you use classic white sugar. I haven’t tried this recipe with any other type so I can’t guarantee the results.

-Don’t worry about the liquid that will accumulate in the bottom of the tray or pan. That’s completely normal and you’ll get rid of it when the gravlax has finished curing. 

-Once you’re done curing the salmon, make sure to rinse it off, pat it dry, and return it to the fridge to settle for at least 2 hours. Then you can finally eat it!


Cette recette de saumon Gravlax est une des premières recettes que j’ai apprise dans mon école de cuisine à Paris (Ferrandi). C’est vraiment tres facile a faire et c’est quasi-inratable!

C’est l’entrée parfaite pour les fêtes ou quand vous avez un grand repas avec des amis. Servez-le avec des blinis et de la creme fraiche d’Isigny mélangée avec du citron et de la ciboulette.

Ma recette:

-1 kilo de saumon frais, Label Rouge ou qualite sashimi

-300 g de gros sel gris

-200 g de sucre blanc

-1 botte d’aneth frais


  1. Mélangez le sel avec le sucre et l’aneth dans un petit bol avec une cuillère ou vos doigts.
  2. Posez un gros morceau de film alimentaire sur votre plan de travail.
  3. Posez la moitié de la mélange sel/sucre/aneth sur le film alimentaire, en forme de rectangle qui correspond à peu près à la taille de votre morceau de saumon.
  4. Déposez le morceau de saumon (côté peau en bas) sur la melange de sel.
  5. Rajoutez l’autre moitié de la mélange de sel sur le saumon, et aplatissez bien. Vérifiez que le saumon est recouvert en entier de cette melange.
  6. Enroulez bien le saumon dans le film avec plusieurs couches pour vérifier qu’il est bien fermée.
  7. Placez le saumon dans un grand plat.
  8. Placez plusieurs conserves de légumes ou autre chose de bien lourd sur le saumon. Mettez le dans le réfrigérateur.
  9. Laissez le saumon au frigo entre 36-48 heures, en le retournant toutes les 12 heures.
  10. Quand c’est pret, retirez le film, enlevez tout le sel qui reste avec une spatule, et séchez le saumon avec un peu de essuie-tout.
  11. Retournez-le au frigo pendant 2 heures avant de le servir.

If you’re looking for more savory recipes like this one, be sure to check out my whole collection!

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