Best Gravlax

Gravlax for the Holidays

Gravlax has grown in popularity in North America with all the cooking shows and food blogs. As for myself, I started making my own easy Gravlax appetizer not because of that, but because of my father-in-law and my husband. Back when they were in Russia, they used to eat it very often during the holidays (that and caviar on blinis for breakfast, which was more affordable than you might think). Gravlax became our traditional appetizer. I make it very often, and there will be no exception this Holiday season! 🙂

Important Points to Make a Successful Gravlax

This recipe is very easy to make, but there is one important point when you make Gravlax. You need really fresh fish! Don’t be shy to ask your fishmonger if the salmon you are about to buy is fresh. Tell him it’s to make Gravlax with it. If he does not know what Gravlax is (which is unlikely), tell him it’s to be eaten raw. He should be able to tell you if it’s fresh enough for that, or he will get you another fresher piece of salmon.

When and How to Prepare Gravlax

When you buy fish to make Gravlax, you have to make it the same day you bought it. The steps are easy to follow and it doesn’t take much time. Calculate that if you want to serve the Gravlax for your Christmas dinner or New Year’s party, make your Gravlax 24 hours prior to the event.

If you serve it on crackers, assemble your Gravlax appetizers at the last minute, just when you are about to eat them. Remember it is raw fish, so don’t keep it too long on the table. I usually serve it in smaller batches just to make sure there are no leftovers. It is easy to refill the plate if you see it goes fast.

This is a really easy and simple recipe and it can make a great addition to your festive table.

Happy Holidays to all!


This Gravlax is really good by itself, or you can make a little sour cream spread to go with it for your guests.

Easy Gravlax Appetizer

by Melanie Dompierre
PREP TIME10 minutes
Curing Time1 day
TOTAL TIME10 minutes
This is a really easy and simple recipe that can make a great addition to your Holiday table!


Salmon Gravlax

  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 4 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 pieces fish (300g each)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 piece of cloth

The Spread

  • 1 cup yogurt or sour cream (or half and half)
  • 1/2 lemon (it's juice)
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 tsp dry dill
  • 1 tsp ground pepper


Salmon Gravlax

  • Wash the fish carefully with cold water, keep the skin.
  • Get a dish that can contain both fish pieces on top of each other and has a lid. Place the pieces of the fish at the bottom of the dish and pour the vodka on them.
  • Cut the lemon into two parts. Use one half to squeeze the juice. Cut the other half in thin slices.
  • Sprinkle the sea salt and the ground pepper on the fish.
  • Crush the garlic with a garlic crusher and spread it on both fish pieces.
  • Place the fresh herbs on one of the fish pieces.
  • Take one fish piece and place it flesh to flesh onto the other piece. Press them together.
  • Put the lid on. If the lid is transparent, cover the lid with a cloth so no light can come in contact with the fish.
  • Let it sit in the fridge for a full 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, remove the fish from the dish and slice it in thin slices. Put into a storage container and keep it in the fridge until you're ready to serve it.

The Spread

  • Cut the red onion into very small pieces.
  • In a serving bowl, pour the yogurt or sour cream.
  • Add the juice of 1/2 of a lemon.
  • Add the dry dill and ground pepper.
  • Mix carefully. Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.
    Gravlax Salmon-Vodka appetizers


If you make this recipe ..... tag me @mel4skilletsandgames on Instagram and hashtag it #skilletsandpots. 
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Russian
Keywords: appetizer, bread, crackers, guests, holidays, ideas, salmon, sushi

Gravlax for Pinterest



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Written by Melanie Dompierre

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