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(7 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Plus 2-4 days curing


Serves 10

Cure your own salmon, Scandinavian-style, with dill, juniper, and lemon and serve with a mustard sauce

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving (with dill & mustard sauce)

  • kcal288
  • fat15.9g
  • saturates2.5g
  • carbs15.2g
  • sugars15.2g
  • fibre0.1g
  • protein20.8g
  • salt4.3g
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  • 2 x 500g pieces skin-on organic salmon fillet, both cut from the centre of the fish. Ask your fishmonger to pin-bone it for you
  • 75g flaky sea salt
  • 75g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn, roughly crushed
  • zest of 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 8 juniper berries, crushed (optional)
  • small bunch (about 20g) dill, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp gin (optional)



    Gin has enjoyed a huge revival recently. It's usually served alongside tonic water (a…

  • pumpernickel sauce, to serve

Dill & mustard sauce

  • small bunch (about 20g) dill, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp each Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, honey and sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp muscovado sugar


  1. Pat the salmon dry with kitchen paper and run your hands over the flesh to see if there are any stray small bones – if there are, use a pair of tweezers to pull them out. Set the salmon fillets aside.

  2. Tip the salt, sugar, peppercorns, lemon zest, juniper and dill into a food processor and blitz until you have a bright green, wet salt mixture or ‘cure’. Unravel some cling film but keep it attached to the roll. Lay the first fillet of salmon skin-side down and then pack the cure over the flesh. Drizzle with gin, if using and top with the 2nd fillet, flesh-side down. Roll the sandwiched fillets tightly in cling film to create a package.

  3. Place the fish in a shallow baking dish or shallow-sided tray and lay another tray on top. Weigh the tray down with a couple of tins or bottles and place in the fridge for at least 48 hrs or up to 4 days, turning the fish over every 12 hours or so. The longer you leave it, the more cured it will become.

  4. To make the sauce, tip all the sauce ingredients into a blender. Blitz until you have a thickened dressing.

  5. To serve, unwrap the fish and brush off the marinade with kitchen paper. Rinse it if you like. You can slice the fish classically into long thin slices, leaving the skin behind, or remove the skin it and slice it straight down. Serve the sliced fish on a large platter or individual plates with pumpernickel bread, dill and mustard sauce.

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Comments, questions and tips

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8th Jan, 2019
Perfect cured salmon! Have made this several times, curing for 72 hours seems about right for me. I don’t wash the curing mixture off but instead rub it into the salmon to keep the dill coloured edging. Super tasty.
6th Oct, 2018
First time at home I have seen it done at work with a full fillet of fish putting it in the blender melted the mixture and when I put cans on top of the fish later the mixture would turn to liquid so I omitted putting it in a blender half of the fish was in liquid and the other half with mixture that was not put in blender it had a darker marinade I tasted it was real good some experimenting but otherwise great recipe! Testing and experimentation is key 5 stars
23rd Feb, 2017
First time I tried a cured salmon: great. Began the curing on thursday evening, for a sunday lunch. It was perfectly cured. Served with roasted potatoes, the dill and mustard sauce and a wasabi-soja cream. No leftover ! So good and so easy.
21st Jun, 2015
Often make the dill and mustard sauce on its own to go with potatos and salad - excellent recipe.
21st Apr, 2014
I've made this a few times, curing it for 48 - 60 hours. No complaints from my guests, and no left-overs either. Do need to rinse the marinade off.
26th Dec, 2013
I didn't use the gravadlax recipe but did make the mustard and honey dressing...wonderful. My guests loved it so much they wanted the recipe. I made the dressing a day before I needed it, which allowed the sugar to melt completely. Have already made it again and there is a pot of it permanently in my fridge. It is very versatile and delicious with everything
21st Jun, 2013
Loved this recipe, right amount of salt and sugar. Used muscovado sugar and it was fantastic, my guests could not get enough of it.
18th Jan, 2013
I also agree that 24 hours is more than enough for this lovely recipe. The salmon got very interesting taste! The only problem with the sauce, it is too acidic for me. I tried to add 150 ml of sour cream to make it less vinegar-after-taste.
20th Dec, 2012
I would suggest that curing for 48 hours or longer is too long. Try it, but I personally find that 24 hours is absolutely fine. As the recipe states the longer you cure the saltier and drier it will become. BUT it is a great cant but this in the shops easily.
20th Dec, 2012
I just love salmon -- all kinds of preparations -- and this recipe looks like a winner for me. Can't wait to try. Thanks so much for this terrific food site. Cheers.
25th May, 2018
Can you cure other types of fish using this method? I was thinking of maybe trying it out with a white fish like cod or haddock - do you think that this recipe would work for these?
goodfoodteam's picture
26th May, 2018
Thanks for your question. This recipe was created especially for curing salmon. We would not recommend using it for cod or haddock.
25th Nov, 2016
My salmon got a lot of juice and it sort of came out of the wrapping. Now it is basically soaked in the marinade. Is it ok? Another question - the party is still several days to go and what shall I do with the salmon? Keep it in marinade for another week, or take it out rinse off the marinade and freeze it? Please help with advise! Thanks you very much in advance.
goodfoodteam's picture
8th Dec, 2016
Thanks for your questions. This is as it should be! The curing mix has dissolved into a brine. The salmon will sit happily in it for several days but the longer you leave it the saltier and more ‘cured’ it will become and will need to be really well washed. Washed, the salmon will keep in the fridge for 3 days wrapped tightly in cling film.
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