Background: I am trying to make gravlax, but some recipes I see use sashimi quality fish, and others do not, see:

Recipe without sashimi quality fish: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fish-recipes/super-quick-salmon-gravadlax/#zYOgHzcRRMYwGDTe.97

Recipe with sashimi quality fish: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/04/how-to-make-gravlax-cured-salmon.html

So my questions are:

  1. Is it safe to use non sashimi grade fish to make gravlax, as in that first recipe?

  2. Was it safe to eat traditional gravlax before people knew about parasites and freezing?

  3. What does Ikea do to its gravlax to make it safe? Or is Ikea gravlax not the same as the ones produced by the above recipes?

The first question was my original main question, but subsequent discussion has led me to think questions 2 and 3 are related and relevant as well.

I do know that salmon can have parasites and sashimi quality means it has been frozen to kill the parasites.

  • 1
    Edited the question to avoid referring to the history (future readers don't need to know about it), and cleaning up comments since it appears to be all resolved.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 2:55

1 Answer 1



Gravlax is not technically "raw" it is cooked (cured) with salt and sugar, both of which have been used to preserve food for eons.

In any case, use as fresh as possible fish you can find from a reputable fish monger.

  1. Yes; as long as you properly cure the fish and properly store the fish in the fridge.

  2. Was it safe before ? The "traditional" gravlax, was fermented salmon buried in sand. don't know, there are still Scandinavian people, so I assume it did have such an impact.

  3. They so it the same way we do it, with salt and sugar, and vacuum pack it. (I cannot find the ingredients list for it online); maybe they add a little bit of preservative, but I would be surprised.

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