Juniper-and-Gin Gravlax

juniper and fin gravlax salmon
Photo: Justin Walker
Prep Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 days 45 mins
8 to 10 Serves

Curing your own salmon is worth the effort. This Swedish-inspired version calls for marinating the fish with citrus zest, juniper berries, dill, and gin. You'll be proud to serve this homemade treat as an appetizer at your next dinner party.


  • ¾ cup kosher salt

  • ½ cup sugar

  • 3 tablespoons packed grated zest from 2 lemons, 2 limes, and 1 orange

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground juniper berries

  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill

  • ¼ cup gin, such as Hendrick's

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds sushi-grade salmon, skin on, pin bones removed

  • Meyer-Lemon Relish, for serving

  • Salmon roe, crackers or crostini, capers, creme fraiche, shaved fennel, and sliced red onion, for serving


  1. Combine salt, sugar, zest, pepper, juniper, and dill in a bowl. Add gin; stir until mixture resembles wet sand.

  2. Rinse salmon and pat dry. Line a baking sheet with plastic; scatter one-third of sugar mixture on it. Lay salmon, skin-side down, on sugar mixture; spread remaining mixture evenly over top. Wrap tightly in the plastic; place a second baking sheet on top and weigh down with canned goods. Refrigerate, flipping fish and pouring off excess liquid every 24 hours, for 3 days. Rinse excess sugar mixture off salmon; pat dry.

  3. Place fish flesh-side down, and slide the tip of a long, sharp knife between flesh and skin at a short end. Using a paper towel to grip, gently pull skin off. Flip fish; thinly slice at a 45-degree angle. Serve with relish, roe, crackers, capers, creme fraiche, fennel, and onion.

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