New This Month

Star Anise Gravlax

Star anise and fennel add an Asian twist to salt-cured salmon, a Scandinavian classic.

  • Yield: Makes 50

Source: Martha Stewart Living, August/September August/September 1992


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 2 pounds fresh salmon fillet, skin on, bones removed
  • 2 cups fennel leaves, chopped, plus some whole for garnish
  • 4-5 lemon slices
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • Sesame Crackers
  • 1 bulb fresh fennel, sliced paper-thin
  • Black sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Combine sugar, salt, star anise, and peppercorns in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until spices are well crushed. Rub fish well with the mixture.

  2. Arrange chopped fennel leaves, lemon slices, and any leftover seasonings in a glass baking dish large enough to hold the fish flat. Sprinkle flesh side of fish with vodka and lay in dish, skin side up.

  3. Cover fish with plastic wrap and place a wooden cutting board on top. Weight with cans. Cure in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. Fish should look opaque when done.

  4. Remove fish from baking dish and brush off seasonings. Serve immediately, or rewrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.

  5. To serve, slice very thinly on an angle down to skin. To assemble hors d'oeuvres, top each cracker with a slice of gravlax, a slice of fennel, some fennel leaves, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.


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