I am trying to make gravlax (lox).


  1. Clean off salmon fillet (~200g tail portion)
  2. Mix 50/50 table salt and sugar
  3. Coat skin side in salt/sugar mixture, rub in
  4. Coat non-skin side in dill
  5. Coat non-skin side in salt/sugar mixture, rub in
  6. Place in covered container
  7. Place in fridge for 18-24 hours


After 24 hours, the thin parts are cured, but the skin side of the thick part is still red.

gravlax still red on skin side

What I have tried

Cutting off the skin - completely effective, but makes it very tough, also all the videos I watched had it cured with the skin on, and those came out fine

Curing for longer - did not seem to have any effect

Rubbing salt/sugar mixture directly on end - this seemed to help a bit right on the end, but it was still red further in

Place weight on top - some videos I watched had the fillet wrapped in cling wrap and smooshed with a weight, but this did not seem to have any effect

professional smooshing setup

  • 3
    18-24 hours seems rather short to me; I typically leave it in the fridge for 2-3 days. But you said that leaving it longer didn't help. It is tricky to get the thicker and thinner parts to behave in the same way. What I try to do is to buy more uniform pieces of salmon. (I typically remove the skin first as well, but that shouldn't really matter.)
    – Popup
    Jan 31, 2019 at 21:27

1 Answer 1


So, first, I don't think that gravlax looks that bad. Gravlax is never going to be the uniform peach/orange color that cold smoked salmon is (lox). It just looks a little bit under-cured.

There are two things I do that are different from you, when I make Gravlax:

  1. I cure it for a minimum of 72 hours, turning every 12 hours or so (and pressing the whole time, but that's a texture thing).

  2. My cure includes a couple shots of aquavit. I find that the alcohol helps the cure penetrate into the center of the salmon.

Here's my recipe.

  • 1
    I flipped it over and left for another 24 hours and it's looking much better. Thanks!
    – Aaroninus
    Feb 1, 2019 at 19:08

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