While dumplings may be my all-time favorite food, bagels and lox is a close second. And while dumplings are pretty easy to make and therefore easier to indulge in, smoked salmon is not. Honestly, I have considered inventing a time machine just to go back to when my favorite foods were cheaper. I probably won’t ever do it, for a number of different reasons which include the current impossibility, but a girl can dream.

This recipe is a hack for smoked salmon without all of the expense. Although it is a bit saltier than smoked salmon, it has essentially the same taste and texture. It takes time and is best for those skinny tail pieces of the filet that you have a hard time cooking because it is so much thinner than the rest of the filet. Other than that, it is really easy. Mix the salt and sugar and spices, rub it onto both sides of the fish, and place into a glass or plastic container. Place something heavy on top, and wait a few days. You can’t go wrong.

A note about the salmon. It doesn’t matter what size you use, as long as you have a container big enough to hold it. If you go to Sam’s Club or Costco and get a large piece of salmon, cut it into meal-sized pieces and freeze it for future use. Use the thin end that is to small for a meal for this recipe.

gravalax and bagelgraxalaxbefore


  • A thin-ish filet of salmon.
  • 2:1 ratio of sugar to kosher salt. For a hand-sized filet, this ended up being about 1/2 cup sugar to 1/4 cup salt. Make sure you have enough to fully cover the filet.
  • 1 tablespoon dill


  1. Mix the sugar, salt, and dill. Rub onto both sides of the fish. If you have extra, cake it onto the filet.
  2. Place into a non-reactive container (glass or plastic or pyrex).
  3. Cover with something heavy, like a plate, or if that doesn’t fit into your container, a Tupperware lid.
  4. Place a heavy can on top and then place the whole thing in to the refrigerator.
  5. Wait 1-3 days. You will notice that liquid has seeped out of the filet, which is good. You want the fish to be dried out, a little hard, and slightly translucent.
  6. Slice and enjoy!


  • I like to eat gravlax by itself, on a bagel with cream cheese, or on a cracker.
  • You can also add 1 tablespoon liquid smoke or some bourbon to the salt-sugar-dill mixture. Feel free to experiment.



One thought on “Gravlax

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s