Friday, September 9, 2011


When Don from Simplybest From Food and Life posted Gravlax, i told her that i have not tasted Gravlax before and she gave me a lengthy tutorial on how to cure the salmon.  Don and I chat on skype ever so often and it does not necessary the both of us, when we see Peng online, she will be added to the conference and the three of us will chat until the cows come home, that is 'the cows in Germany'. I knew Don from way back when food forums were very popular, we were very active members and we met many other members who were just as passionate in cooking and baking. Although most food forums died naturally, our friendship continued to another level, we chat on skype.

Nothing new or exciting ever happen in Aurora(this is my opinion only) but  when  IKEA officially opened its store, almost all coloradans had to visit it and that included yours truly.  It caused massive congestion, not only the traffic was affected, the queue in the food court was more than a mile long.  My daughter, Sandra and i had ample time to choose what we would like to eat as the line was long.....and while we were nearing the dish  that we like, the lady in front of us, pointing to the dish and saying out loud - How digusting !!!!!.  Sandra looked at me and i returned eye contact with her and wondered???? What is wrong with the Gravlax  Salad that we wanted to eat so badly?  We looked at all the plates of Gravlax Salad on display, they looked perfectly fine. They turned out to be the best salad i have ever eaten.(i am not a salad fan).  After tasting that delicious cured salmon, i thought of Don's tutorial and i must get some salmon fillets for curing.  I have always mentioned to friends that if you wish hard enough, you will get your wish granted.  I wished i had salmon fillets and i had a box of freshly caught salmon from Alaska, frozen and perfectly packed.  Thank you Andy for fulfilling my wish, now i can make Gravlax .   i did cure 2 pieces of salmon and they were better than what i had for lunch at IKEA.   Thank you Don and Andy , i hope you will cure some following this recipe. This recipe is for one pound of salmon fillet and you would have to calculate the other ingredients according to the weight of the salmon fillets.


For every pound of salmon fillet,
2 tablespoons kosher salt,
2 tablespoons sugar,
2 teaspoons ground black pepper


Examine the salmon for bones by visual inspection and by touch., remove them with a needle nose pliers or tweezer. Drape the salmon fillet over an inverted bowl, this will help force the tips of the bones up, making them easy to grasp and remove.

Place the salmon fillet skin side down on a large piece of plastic wrap which is about three to four times the length of the fillet.

Mix the salt, sugar, and black pepper into a bowl until evenly distributed.

Spoon the mixture onto the exposed salmon flesh, making sure to cover as much of the exposed areas as possible.

Wrap the salmon fillet tightly in the plastic wrap. Take a second sheet of plastic wrap and wrap again.

Place the package in a baking dish or container. to catch the juices that will flow from the package during the curing.

Place this in the refrigerator. and refrigerate the salmon fillet for at least two days. Longer refrigeration will intensify the flavors.

Remove the container from the refrigerator, open the package, and rinse gravlax in water.  If any pieces of salt or pepper are stuck to the flesh, just wipe it gently off. Dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with more freshly ground pepper..

Use a sharp boning knife to cut the gravlax. Position the gravlax so you will be cutting from the tail end (the small end) first. The gravlax should be sliced thinly on the bias (at an angle). Each slice should be detached from the skin.

I served my gravlax with spring mix and mustard dill dressing but gravlax can be served by itself, on top of toasted bread, crackers, or any other way you would serve a smoked salmon appetizer. A squeeze of lemon juice can also be a welcome touch.

Mustard Dill Dressing

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour over spring mix salad and gently toss until well coated. Top with thin slices of Gravlax and serve immediately.



T said...

awesome! we add paprika to it as well and it's really nice. :)

Angie Siew Fern Ng said...

Oooooo...! This is fantastic!! I love salmon, be it sashimi, grilled, smoked...and now one more way to prepare a delicious salmon. Thanks Lily for your kind sharing.
All the best and happy cooking!

Floppy Ears said...

Great tutorial! :D

chrissy said...

Yummmy!!!! Grav Lax...
May I give you a hint to this recipe, put fine chopped dill on the top, during marinating.

lilyng said...


thank you for your tip. As i have mentioned, Don, the sifu, told me not to add fresh dill as it has caused her gravlax go bad faster than she could finish it.

Anonymous said...

These pictures make me drool and drool. Awesome recipe! I would like to take lessons from Ur teacher on this and other topics. ;-)

Would you allow me into your Skype Chats? ;-)

Do U have Link to her blog?

chrissy said...

lilyng, could I send you a email,please?
My email is

lilyng said...


Don's link is on the first line of my text

Rebecca Lee said...

Hi Lily, what type of salmon we have to buy ?? What I mean is some are sold in the fresh market, can I use those salmon fillets ?? Or those Salmon for Sashimi only ? Thanks.

Janine said...

I've never eaten gravlax too but with your detailed recipe i think i'm ready to try it out!

lilyng said...


I guessed the salmon sold in the fresh market must have been thawed, so it is good to go for gravlax. If you get hold of salmon is has been freshly caught, then it has to be deep frozen then thaw before curing

sookiemac said...

Hi Lily, I've made this dish sporadically for over 15 yrs and simply love the texture and flavours. FYI, I do sprinkle chopped dill, then the salt+sugar+pepper mixture. I just place the two fillets pink side together and cover with foil, then weigh down, turning and basting ev. 12 hrs with the ensuing liquid. After 3 days, it's ready to eat. I usually take one half to a party (that's usually when I make this dish) and the other half never lasts more than a week so I cant say if the dill affects the preservation of the salmon. Also, I use sashimi quality salmon.

sookiemac said...

Hi Lily, I made a mistake in my earlier post... the gravlax only needs 3 bastings before its ready so just 36 hrs. cheers! It's also good to know that if I can't get my hands on dill, this dish can still be made without it. Thanks for your recipe.

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