Dill Seed substitution

My recipe for salmon spread (using fresh [uncooked] salmon smoked salmon, butter, cream fraiche, etc.) calls for the fresh salmon to be cured for 3-4 days in advance in brandy, with a few other seasonings, including dill seed. The dill seed is to be pressed into the salmon and the whole thing weighted down. I can't find dill seed locally and there is no time to order it online. Any suggestions - other than just omitting it and adding some dill weed to the product when it is combined? (I checked the ingredients on McCormick pickling spice and it does not even contain dill seed).

  • Posted by: Tarragon
  • December 27, 2011


WeLike2Cook December 28, 2011
Dill and Fennel are in the same family. In fact, you should never plant them near one another in a garden or they will cross pollinate. Thus, fennel seed makes a perfect substitute for dill seed.
Tarragon December 27, 2011
Thank you. I too thought dill seed was common but it (unlike dill weed) is not - at least not in my local Publix, Whole Foods, and Fresh Market - no time to leave the office to try other places as I have to get the cure going tonite. I like your substitution ideas, however, and I am thinking of using a combination of fennel seed and a tiny bit of dried dill (weed).
Ophelia December 27, 2011
I'm surprised you can't find dill seed, it's a very common spice, and I'm not sure if there's something more common that you could use instead.
Basically you're making Gravlax with your fresh salmon, correct? The spice is not essential to the fish being edible after curing, so you could just leave it out entirely.
You could use fresh dill instead (this is traditional, dill seeds are the substitute for when you don't have fresh). Or caraway or celery seed, but both will give you a very different flavor.
inpatskitchen December 27, 2011
If you can find fresh dill I'm sure that would work ( or even dried)!
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