5th December 2017


How to make salmon Gravadlax

Unleash your inner festive goddess this Christmas with this simple recipe as seen on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas. Easy to make and possibly the most versatile food you’ll have in your fridge. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without it!

What you need for the Gravadlax:  

2 matching sides of fresh salmon, skin on, approx 500-600g each 2 bunches of fresh dill, roughly chopped

100g sea salt flakes

75g granulated sugar

A salmon slicer

Akvavit – a Scandinavian spirit (available to buy online)

2 tablespoons of crushed juniper berries

Tin foil

Cling film

A deep dish

Weights such as plates or tins

Serves about 12 guests

The Process

Use matching sides of fresh salmon or a side of salmon sliced in half

Top tip: A good indication of how fresh a piece of fish is by its smell – it shouldn’t smell fishy! 

Then mix the salt and sugar together and thoroughly rub all over both pieces of salmon. This really helps to draw the moisture out of the salmon.

Then layer a large sheet of tin foil and cling film on top of a clean chopping board or work surface and sprinkle all over with a third of dill

Place one side of salmon skin-side down on the dill-sprinkled cling film and cover with another third of the dill

Crush two tablespoons of juniper berries using a pestle and mortar then sprinkle the crushed berries over the dill.

Lightly drizzle on a few splashes of akvavit

Then place the second side of salmon on top, skin side up, and add another bed of dill over the top.

Bring up the cling film and tin foil layers and wrap very tightly around the two salmon pieces to make a firm parcel and place this in a deep dish weighing it down with another dish or tins. This really helps to press out the moisture. Quite a lot of liquid will be released, so make the dish is deep enough.

Chill in a fridge for 48 hours, turn the parcel and re-weight it roughly every 12 hours if possible. Drain the liquid away when turning it over.

Your gravadlax will last in the fridge for up to 5 days

To serve: transfer one side of the salmon to a board and scrape away as much of the dill marinade as possible. Using a fish knife and carve very thin slices from the thickest end of the fillet. Delicious!

Optional: Champagne Mustard (not shown in Kirstie's Handmade Christmas)

What you need:

2 tsp of juniper berries

20g of brown mustard seeds

150g of yellow mustard seeds

2 pinches of dark soft brown sugar

100ml red wine vinegar

Sea Salt

Ground Black Pepper

150ml champagne

Pestle and Mortar

Frying Pan

Induction Hob

Food Processor

Measuring jug

A glass for Champagne

Pepper grinder

The process:

Crush the juniper berries in a pestle and mortar

Then gently toast the juniper berries in a frying pan with both types of mustard seeds, sugar, red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt.

Heat the mixture until it starts to bubble, then simmer for approx. 3-4 mins

Then remove from the heat and stir in approx. 50ml of Champagne

Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend for 3-4 mins adding the remaining Champagne (approx. 100ml) about halfway through the blending process.

Blend until you have a fine puree

Finally, season to taste with salt and pepper



Carrie Hunter