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Smoked Gravlax


Smoked and Fresh Gravlax: A double-duty smorgasbord dish

Smoked Gravlax (in foreground)

photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed to About.com

Cold-cured gravlax takes on a new dimension when smoked for a few hours before serving.

Illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to cold-cure gravlax.

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours


  • 1 one boneless 3 1/2- to 4-pound salmon fillet (skin on or off is fine)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1 tsp. dill seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. ground pepper
  • 1 bunch (or more) fresh dill, coarsely chopped


Cut the salmon fillet in half down the middle, using the line where the backbone was as your guide.

Combine the sugar, salt, dill seeds, and pepper. Rub well into all sides of the two fillet halves.

Place one fillet, skin down, in a large casserole dish. Cover with the chopped fresh dill, then place second filet on top, flesh down. Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or two so that the salt rub melts into the fish. Cover with plastic wrap, then weight down with rocks or canned goods. Refrigerate for 48 hours, turning the fish “sandwich” and basting with the accumulated juices every twelve hours.

On the day of serving, rinse the cold-cured gravlax and pat dry. Allow to air-dry on rack at room temperature for at least two hours.

Prepare your outdoor smoker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Smoke the gravlax for two hours over low heat, about 250º (Note: If your smoker, like mine, lacks a temperature gauge or control, simply check the fish at 1 hour and then every fifteen minutes or so to make sure it doesn’t dry out. It’s ready when the fish flakes at the touch of a fork).

Remove from smoker and serve. Nice accompaniments: crispbread, sweet mustard sauce, capers, minced red onion, and / or cream cheese.

Yield: 20 if used as an appetizer or smorgasbord item.

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