How to make your own cured salmon gravlax.  Only 15 minutes of prep, and a 3-day cure in the fridge stand in between you and this Vodka Dill Cured Salmon Gravlax.  Easy, yet elegant, this salmon is sure to be a showstopper for your next brunch or dinner party!
How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon

Hey buuuuuuudddies.  (<- Anyone else remember Encino Man?  Or am I aging myself?  And, ummm, what happened to Pauly Shore?)

How was your weekend?  Was it straight up stupendous?

Do tell.  I like to live vicariously through you… mostly because I’m rather boring and spend a majority of my time in ‘comfy clothes’.

So humor me and gimme the deets.  Mmmm’kay?

How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon-

Anywho, today we are going to kick it old school!

I originally posted this recipe waaaaaay back in the day.  Like, this was one of THE FIRST recipes EVER posted on NSN.

It should come as no shocker that the original photos were gawd awful.  However, this is honestly one of my ALL time favorite recipes on zee blog.

With Easter and Mother’s Day right around the corner, I decided it absolutely NEEDED to be brought back to life.

So I’ve tweaked the recipe to tasty perfection and, obviously, I re-shot the photos, because I wouldn’t want to break your eye balls with appalling photography.

Anyways, enough long-winded nonsense.

Let’s do the dang thang.  Shall we?

How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured SalmonHow To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon

Vodka-Dill Cured Salmon Gravlax

AKA Showstoppin’ Salmon.

Just a little 411 for those of you who aren’t familiar with gravlax – it is simply salmon that has been cured with salt and sugar, and infused with dill and aromatics.

In this case, the salmon is infused with herbaceous dill, tart orange, sour lemon, and mild vodka.

The result is cured salmon that is nothing short of sensational – rich, luxurious, salty and savory, this salmon is elegant eats at its finest.

Slice it thin, serve it with an array of accoutrements and prepare to WOW.

Luxury food made affordable, my friends.

A quick note for any of you naysayers who are questioning my use of the word “affordable” – I bought the one pound center cut side of Atlantic salmon you see here for $13.99.  And when I looked, a pound of store bought gravlax was about $50.00.

Economical eats in da houuuuuuse!

How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon

How to Make it:

Making gravlax is one of the EASIEST things on planet earth.  I swear.

BUT, it does require A LOT of patience.  Like, 72 hours’ worth of patience.

First, you will make a suuuuper simple dry cure which consists of lemon zest, orange zest, sugar, sea salt, pepper and loads of dill.

Second, you will lay a large piece of plastic wrap down on a work surface and place a double layer of cheesecloth on top. ⬅️ This will act like a cocoon for the salmon.

Next, sprinkle some of your dry cure down over the cheesecloth and place the salmon on top.

Now comes the fun part, you drizzle some vodka on top of the salmon.  Then you sprinkle the remaining dry cure onto the salmon, and use your hands to rub it into the fish.

Wrap the salmon up in its cheesecloth-plastic wrap cocoon to form a tight package.

Place the salmon in a baking dish and top it with a light weight.  You can use a brick, a heavy platter, a pan weighed down with canned goods.  Honestly, I’ve tried it all, including weighing it down with a full bag of flour.  Whatever’s clever, you guys.  Just weigh it down and make sure the weight is evenly distributed across the salmon.  The weight helps expedite the curing process by drawing out the moisture and infusing the flavors more quickly.

Here comes the patience part…

Place your weighed down salmon in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours (for a very light cure) up to 4 days (for a heavier cure), and make sure you TURN the fish over ONCE A DAY.

After the curing process, remove the salmon from its wrapping, rinse it off with cool water, pat it dry and place it back in the refrigerator, UNCOVERED, for about an hour to air dry.

DONE AND DONE.

Take a bow.  You have now just mastered the art of curing salmon.

All that’s left to do is thinly slice the salmon on a bias and chow down.

How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon

Recipe Notes:

  1. You want to make sure you use the freshest salmon possible!  Always get your fish from a trusted source, whether that be your fish monger, a specialty store, or your local grocer, just make sure you aren’t purchasing some sketchy fish.  Your salmon should smell like the ocean!
  2. Also, make sure there are no pin bones in the salmon filet.  You can ask the dude at the fish counter to remove them for you if you aren’t sure.
  3. If vodka isn’t your thing, you can substitute gin or aquavit.
  4. If you don’t have Himalayan pink sea salt, just substitute regular coarse sea salt.
  5. If you want a sweeter, less salty cured salmon, switch the ratios of salt and sugar.  I.e. use 4 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of salt.
  6. Make sure you let your salmon cure for AT LEAST 2 days.  This will produce a slightly cured salmon.  I personally think 3-4 days is perfect, as the extra time will allow the fish to become just a bit more firm and flavorful.
  7. When carving your gravlax use a SHARP knife, carve at a BIAS and slice it THIN.  If you use a dull knife you will tear the salmon.  If you don’t carve at a bias, your salmon slices will come out as teeny-tiny little strips.  Breakdown – If you have a sharp knife, carve it on a bias AND slice it thin, you will yield more slices from the entire filet of salmon.  Bonus – the gravlax will look better.

How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon

Downright delicious, luxurious, and easier than pie to prepare, this Vodka Dill Cured Salmon Gravlax NEEDS to make an appearance at your next brunch, dinner party, hors d’oeuvres night, Easter, Mother’s day… whatever.  JUST DO THIS!

Until Thursday friends, cheers – to sensational salmon.

-XOXO-

Cheyanne

5 from 9 votes
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How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon
Prep Time
15 mins
 

How to make your own cured salmon gravlax. Only 15 minutes of prep, and a 3-day cure in the fridge stand in between you and this Vodka Dill Cured Salmon Gravlax. Easy, yet elegant, this salmon is sure to be a showstopper for your next brunch or dinner party!

Course: Appetizer, Snack, starter
Cuisine: French
Servings: 6
Calories: 154 kcal
Author: Cheyanne Holzworth-Bany
Ingredients
  • 1 Pound Center Cut Salmon Skin on & Pin Bones Removed
  • 2 TBS Vodka *
  • Dry Cure:
  • 1 Lemon Zest
  • 1 Orange Zest
  • 4 TBS Fresh Cracked Pink Himalayan Sea Salt *
  • 3 TBS Granulated Sugar
  • ½ tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • ½ Cup Fresh Dill chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine all the DRY CURE ingredients in a small, non-reactive bowl.
  2. Place a piece of plastic wrap (large enough to wrap around the entire fish) on a clean work surface. Place a double layer of cheesecloth, twice the size of the salmon, on top of the plastic wrap.
  3. Sprinkle a heaping 2 tablespoons of the dry cure OVER the cheesecloth.
  4. Place the salmon, skin side down, on top of the dry cure. Drizzle the vodka over the fish. EVENLY, and liberally, coat the salmon with the remaining dry cure, using your hands to RUB it into the fish.
  5. Wrap the cheesecloth around the salmon, followed by the plastic wrap, to completely seal the fish forming a tight package.
  6. Place the wrapped salmon on a wire rack set on a heavy sheet pan (or in a baking dish). Top the salmon with a weight* evenly distributed across the salmon to expedite curing process.
  7. Refrigerate for a minimum of 48 hours, up to 4 days*, TURNING OVER ONCE A DAY.
  8. Remove salmon from wrapping and rise off with cool water to remove the dry cure. Pat dry. Place the salmon back on the wire rack and place in the refrigerator (uncovered) for about an hour to air dry.
  9. Thinly slice the salmon on a bias and serve!
Recipe Notes

1. You want to make sure you use the freshest salmon possible! Always get your fish from trusted source, whether that be your fish monger, a specialty store, or your local grocer, just make sure you aren’t purchasing some sketchy fish. Your salmon should smell like the ocean!

2. Also, make sure there are no pin bones in the salmon filet. You can ask the dude at the fish counter to remove them for you if you aren’t sure.

3. If vodka isn’t your thing, you can substitute gin or aquavit.

4. If you don’t have Himalayan pink sea salt, just substitute regular coarse sea salt.

5. If you want a sweeter, less salty cured salmon, switch the ratios of salt and sugar. I.e. use 4 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of salt.

6. Make sure you let your salmon cure for AT LEAST 2 days. This will produce a slightly cured salmon. I personally think 3-4 days is perfect, as the extra time will allow the fish to become just a bit more firm and flavorful.

7. When carving your gravlax use a SHARP knife, carve at a BIAS and slice it THIN. If you use a dull knife you will tear the salmon. If you don’t carve at a bias, your salmon slices will come out as teeny-tiny little strips. Breakdown - If you have a sharp knife, carve it on a bias AND slice it thin, you will yield more slices from the entire filet of salmon. Bonus – the gravlax will look better.

Nutrition Facts
How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 154 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 41mg 14%
Sodium 4686mg 195%
Potassium 438mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 8g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 7.6%
Vitamin C 18.1%
Calcium 2.9%
Iron 5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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How To Make Gravlax - Vodka Dill Cured Salmon