Gorgeous Gravlax

The delicious art of curing salmon

Gravlax is a popular Nordic dish, where spanking fresh salmon is preserved by marinating it in a mixture of salt and sugar.  The preparation time is quick and curing process occurs in refrigerator.

Yet people have this idea that it’s really complicated to make Gravlax…when honestly  it’s not!

It’s  perfect for Easter Entertaining – made in advance – fuss free and simply delicious – And a REAL WOW to impress friends and family. And fish /seafood is big on the Easter menu!

This is Chef Peter’s simple way of preparing salmon that produces an amazing appetizer with clean flavours and a remarkable texture.

“Don’t be daunted by Gravlax,” says Chef Peter. “It’s  not difficult to make and the end result is delicious and satisfying. I much prefer gravlax to smoked salmon. Gravlax has clean flavours and beautiful texture.”

“Once cured, the salmon will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  And of course I only recommend using Oryx Desert Salt! It’s a taste that goes perfectly with the rich creamy flavour of salmon,” says Chef Peter Ayub


  • 6 Tablespoons finely chopped dill
  • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped coriander
  • 200 g Oryx Desert Salt
  • 120 g sugar (white) if you use brown sugar, the molasses will over-power the flavour of the finished Gravlax
  • 2 Tablespoons Oryx Desert Black pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons vodka
  • Juice and zest of 1 Lemon
  • 2 medium size fresh Norwegian or Canadian Salmon Fillets – roughly just over 1 kg in total ( you need to check with your fish monger or deli which they have available and make sure it is on the SASSI Green List – SUSTAINBLITY is very important)


  • In a bowl, combine the dill, sugar, Oryx Desert salt, Oryx Desert pepper, vodka, lemon juice, lemon zest, coriander
  • Spread ¼ of the mixture evenly on the bottom of a ceramic dish that is big enough to hold both fillets
  • Place one fillet skin-side down on top of the mixture
  • Cover this fillet with slightly more than half of the remaining mixture
  • Place the 2nd fillet on top of the 1st fillet skin side up
  • Cover this fillet with the remaining mixture
  • Seal and close the dish tightly with plastic wrap
  • Then weigh down the salmon with tins or a heavy bread board
  • Refrigerate the fish for 24 hours (maximum 36 hours) turning the fish every 12 hours and still keep the heavy weight on, once you have turned it
  • When you are ready to serve, drain off any liquid, brush off the marinade mixture an pat the fish dry with kitchen paper
  • Using a very sharp knife, slice the salmon thinly – it will look slightly translucent
  • Serve as you would serve smoked salmon – Melba Toast works well to accompany the Gravlax – serve as part of buffet or on its own as a starter!


Chef’s Tip: Gravlax is traditionally served with rye bread and a mustard dressing.  The dressing is easy:
Combine 2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard, 1 t fine castor sugar, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, ½ t Oryx Desert salt. Gradually whisk in ½ cup of canola oil until the mixture is smooth and amalgamated. Stir in 1Tbsp finely chopped dill. Check for season, if need add a little more Oryx Desert salt.