How To Make Gravlax

Chicago is as much a lox town as New York City is a sturgeon one, and while I’ve lamented the lack of bagel shops here offering smoked sturgeon, finding gravlax (aka “lox” which is essentially cured salmon) is still pretty easy. Yet few people realize that you don’t need to own a giant smoker or a special cooler to make your own gravlax.  The method is pretty easy, actually, as the chef at Fjäderholmarnas Krog showed me a few months ago in Stockholm.  Sweden is a country where the cuisine is predicated on finding inventive ways to preserve things, since the summer is so short.  Pickled fish, salted and smoked meat, even cured salmon are all regulars on menus there.  Hopefully you’ll be armed with some new skills – and confidence – after watching how she makes it look so darn easy. For the recipe, keep reading.



(courtesy: Frida Andersson,  Fjäderholmarnas Krog Restaurant, Stockholm)


Large, skinned and deboned salmon filet, about two to three pounds

½ cup sugar

½ cup salt

zest of one lemon

1 cup roughly-chopped dill


Filet the salmon and clean it (or ask your fish monger to do this for you) Cut the filet into two loins

Mix sugar and salt together

Take the zest from one lemon and the roughly-chopped dill and the sugar and salt and rub them all over the salmon.


Put the salmon in a tray and leave it out for about two hours at room temperature; then you turn the salmon filets and put them in a fridge; after approximately 24 hours they are finished.  Slice thin to serve.

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