There’s something really grown up about owning your first set of proper chef knives. With a sudden boost of confidence thanks to renowned German knife brand F Dick who gifted me a very sleek chef’s set (including a roll bag which I’ve always wanted — because all the pros on Top Chef carry one), I decided to cure my own salmon gravlax from scratch with my newfound kitchen prowess!

Gravlax is a Nordic dish of raw salmon cured in nothing more than sugar, salt and dill. The name comes from the Scandinavian words grav (grave) and laks (salmon), as fishermen used to bury the salted fish in sand to preserve it.

Fancier gravlax can sometimes be cured with gin or vodka and infused with various spice nuances such as juniper berries, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and caraway seeds.

Gravlax is typically my go-to dish if I spot it on a cafe menu or even at IKEA!


I purchased sashimi grade salmon from Sydney Fish Market but you could otherwise buy a fillet of salmon with skin on (ask the fishmonger for bones to be removed) and freeze it to kill any bacteria. 
I love the anise floral notes of fennel seeds accentuated with caraway seeds and coriander seeds so this made the base of my spices. First they were toasted off which brought alive the dormant aroma, and then ground to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar. 


Next, a sprinkle of sugar and salt, followed by a generous lathering of chopped dill which imparts that distinctive gravlax fragrance.



Repeat the process on the other side and that my dear readers, is as far as “cooking” goes. The magic happens in the fridge.

Turn it once after 24 hours and drain the liquid; let it continue to cure for another day or two depending on your preference in texture and flavour. It will be firmer and saltier the longer it is left to cure.
There is no doubt the hardest part of making gravlax is the slicing of it! The secret is to have a super sharp knife; slice it very thinly on the diagonal and don’t worry if they aren’t perfect wide slices from the entire fillet because large or small strips will all taste great anyway and can be layered when plating! Serve on rye bread with a dill-mustard (chopped dill, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar) sauce.


Cured Salmon Gravlax
1480 calories
49 g
473 g
53 g
193 g
7 g
848 g
16517 g
40 g
0 g
24 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1480
Calories from Fat 475
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 53g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 12g
Monounsaturated Fat 12g
Cholesterol 473mg
Sodium 16517mg
Total Carbohydrates 49g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 40g
Protein 193g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 750g sashimi-grade salmon
  2. 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  3. 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  4. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  5. 40g white sugar
  6. 40g sea salt
  7. 2 bunches of dill, roughly chopped (1 cup for the curing and 1 cup for serving)
  1. Toast the caraway seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds and grind using mortar and pestle.
  2. Lay the salmon flat on a piece of plastic wrap and sprinkle with the salt, followed by the sugar, the spices then the chopped dill.
  3. Flip the salmon over and repeat the process in the same order.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh down with a heavy chopping board and a couple of cans. Refrigerate for 12 hours. Uncover the salmon, turn over the fillet, re-cover with plastic wrap and the weights and refrigerate for up to 3-5 days depending on your taste preference, turning it every 12 hours.
  5. To serve, scrape all ingredients off salmon and scatter with remaining dill. Shave the salmon thinly on an angle, leaving the skin behind.
I Ate My Way Through

gravlax-60 gravlax-75 gravlax-76

As far as a no-cook recipes go, this one is a definite keeper and will certainly impress if you’re hosting a party!

Previous articleThe Bistro at Manly Pavilion, Manly
Next articleTaste of Indonesia, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
Jennifer is the founder of I Ate My Way Through. Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. These days, you'll most likely find Jen blogging about slow & intentional living On The Slow Lane and sharing what she knows now about mindful parenting and play-based learning at Mama's Got This.


Leave a Reply to Good Flames Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

15 − 4 =