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How to make your own lox. Home cured salmon is effortless and delicious!

Updated on October 9, 2010

gravlax is so easy

Easy homemade gravlax

It's a cinch to make your own cured salmon, called gravlax. Gravlax is Scandinavian in origin, and is essentially, smoked salmon, minus the smoke. You can finish this off with a couple of hours of cold smoking in the BBQ, to make smoked salmon, but this delicate salmon is great on its own, and is the perfect topping for bagels with cream cheese.

You can spend a lot for smoked salmon or lox, but since making your own is as easy as rubbing a bit of salt and sugar on a salmon fillet, and keeping it in the fridge for a couple of days, you might consider doing it for yourself, and for a fraction of the price! Additionally, a homemade gravlax will be less salty and cleaner tasting than a commercial lox, and will be appreciated by everyone who served a Sunday brunch with luscious home cured salmon on the menu.

The instructions as follows are for 2 lbs of gravlax, which is quite a lot; but since this freezes well it's worth making a good sized batch, and portioning it already sliced in the freezer for easy access. Use this as a replacement for any recipe that calls for smoked salmon. It's great in a simple cream sauce with a fresh pasta, and on any sort of canapé; Or serve it as an elegant starter, with a mustard dill sauce, as is traditionally done.

Easy home made gravlax (Lox)

  • One 2 pound salmon fillet, skin off
  • ¼ sup of salt, preferably kosher
  • ¼ cup of white sugar
  • 1-2 bunches of fresh dill, you can’t really use too much
  • 2 tsps of freshly cracked black pepper
  1. Simply rub the salmon fillet all over with the salt and sugar, and sprinkle with the pepper.
  2. Place half of the dill in glass or or other non reactive container, big enough to hold the salmon flat (it can be cut into pieces to fit as necessary), lay the salmon on the dill, and cover with the other half of the dill. Cover with plastic wrap, and place something heavy on the top, to compress the salmon.
  3. Let it sit in the fridge for 2 days, draining the water that collects off once. Check to see if the salmon is finished after 2 days. The texture will change, and become denser, and it will look like smoked salmon when finished. If it is not all the way through cured, give it one more day of curing.
  4. That's it. Wash off the salt and sugar, and slice as thinly as possible, with a very sharp knife.

This is delicious, and is much better than what you can buy commercially, and for a lot less money too.

This is effortless, but never fails to impress, and will add a touch of class to everyday bagels and cream cheese.


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    • profile image

      K in N Cal 

      5 years ago

      Can you make lox without the sugar?

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 

      5 years ago from Mexico

      I have to try this at home. Will wait for a moment when the price of salmon drops a little and then make a big batch. Cured salmon is always very expensive and I would much rather have my own homemade version.

      Since AJ commented on the saltiness of the recipe, I might go a little bit easy on the salt. One can always add more latter but if it gets too salty then there is no remedy.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Can you escape the dill step..

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great recipe! It came out a tad too salty so I am going to half the salt next time.

    • SEXYLADYDEE profile image


      7 years ago from Upstate NY

      Gonna try your great recipe. Do you also have one for the smoking on the bbq as well? Dee

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      7 years ago

      Hi Patricia - I hope you do try it!

    • profile image

      Patricia Rae 

      7 years ago

      Thanks John. I always wondered how to make homemade gravlax. Looking forward to trying your recipe.

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      9 years ago

      Readabook, Thanks for the comment, let us know how it turns out for you!

    • readabook profile image


      9 years ago from Texas

      Hey thanks this is exactly what I was looking for.

    • profile image

      Marc Z 

      10 years ago

      How long will it keep for after it is cured?


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