Make Ahead

Bombay Sapphire gravlax

May 14, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I love raw, fresh wild salmon. I love good gin. What follows is a happy, happy marriage. This is lightly cured by most gravlax standards, as it takes a day rather than three, but it preserves the wonderful texture of outstanding fish. As an appetizer for a dinner party, or a smart meal in itself with people you like (a lot!), this is something worth splurging on, just once in a while. I think it is best served with brown bread and butter, and nips of viscously cold gin on the side. —Marie Viljoen

What You'll Need
  • 1 side of wild salmon
  • 1 bunch dill, washed and dried
  • 1/2 lemon's zest
  • 1 lemon's juice
  • 1/4 cup Bombay sapphire gin
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, roughly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon excellent salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. You need a dish wide enough to hold your salmon side comfortably, as well as a smaller dish to weigh it down, with a brick, or cans, anything heavy, on top of that.
  2. Rinse and pat dry your salmon. Remove pin bones if there are any.
  3. Combine the dill, lemon zest, lemon juice and gin.
  4. Pour half this mixture into the dish that will hold the fish.
  5. Sprinkle half the peppercorns, salt and sugar over the base of the dish.
  6. Lay your salmon, skin side down, in the dish.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients over the side facing up.
  8. Lay a sheet of clingfilm (or greaseproof paper if you are worried about what's in the plastic) over the salmon.
  9. Place a nesting dish or any dish that can cover the length of the salmon, on top. Weigh this down with cans, side by side, or a brick, or baking beans. You get the idea.
  10. Place this in the fridge for 6 hours minimum, 12 hours maximum.
  11. Flip the fish, so that the orange side is facing down. Sometimes I taste the juice at this point and and a little more seasoning.
  12. Put it back in the fridge for another 6-12 hours.
  13. Remove from fridge and pat dry.
  14. With a very sharp knife, with fish placed skin side down, separate skin from meat by sliding the blade between the two.
  15. Carve into medium-thin slices.
  16. Serve with good seven grain style bread and excellent butter. Lemon wedges and more black pepper on the side don't hurt.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • pauljoseph
  • WinnieAb
  • Marie Viljoen
    Marie Viljoen
  • dymnyno

5 Reviews

pauljoseph October 4, 2010
fantastic photo and recipe
WinnieAb May 18, 2010
This looks absolutely fantastic. Is alcohol essential to the process? If I don't happen to love gin, can another type of alcohol be used?
Marie V. May 18, 2010
Hey there WinnieAb - personally, I like the juniper spiciness of gin, but you could certainly substitute vodka, especially a citrus vodka. Scandinavians would use an eau de vie. What do you think?
Marie V. May 15, 2010
Hmm, let me know how it turns out!
dymnyno May 15, 2010
This sounds like a match made in heaven!....this recipe went straight into my printer so I can make it later. A little (very little) wild salmon has been showing up at farmer's market.