Scratch Recipe: Salmon Gravlax

I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but gravlax is actually very easy to make. It’s one of those showy dishes that people ‘Ooh’ and ‘Ahhh’ over, marvelling at your talent and technique. I shamefully confess to having stoked the fires of awe once or twice myself. But in truth it’s a little bit cooking by numbers.

And this bejewelled pinky, orangey beetroot recipe is just so, well, ‘dazzling’, isn’t it? Earthy and sweet all at the same time with a wee flourish of citrus notes long on the palate. (I feel like the wine notes on the back of a good Mersault).

Well then, if you’re ready to enter the world of half-truths and culinary deception, here’s how you do it.

Beetroot Cured Salmon Gravlax

Side of salmon
Castor sugar ½ cup
Coarse sea salt 175g
Black Pepper generous grindings
Brandy ½ cup
Dill a large bunch, chopped roughly
Finely grated zest of 2 each: oranges, limes, + lemons
Juice of 2 Lemons
Grated Raw beetroot about 600g


Recipe: Salmon Gravlax

Scratch Recipe: Salmon Gravlax

  1. Check the salmon for bones and pluck any stragglers out with tweezers.  This will feel perverse and satisfying all at once
  2. Pop the salmon in a glass dish large enough to take it comfortably
  3. Mix together sugar, salt, zests and ground pepper then pour over the salmon
  4. Drizzle the brandy over the sugar mix
  5. Chop dill and pile it on to the salmon
  6. Now pile on the grated beetroot and press hard into the salmon
  7. Wrap the whole fish in cling film and flip over so skin side is up
  8. Place a chopping board and several cans of beans or tomatoes on top to weight it down
  9. Pop into fridge for 48 hours
  10. Scrape away the beetroot and slice thinly, cutting diagonally into the fish.
  11. Serve with crème fraiche and dill on crispy crostini