Filson Food: Whiskey Cured Salmon Gravlax

salmon gravlax with green herbs on wood cutting board

Making cured fish is incredibly simple, but requires intentional time to prepare. Gravlax, a preparation of preserving salmon from the cold coast of Scandinavia, is cured in salt and sugar for just a few days. This recipe has been adapted from my grandpa’s handwritten notes, a treasure shared in my family.

Gravlax celebrates the fish with its brilliant color, delicate texture, and rich flavor, making for a delicious addition to any meal. Serve it for breakfast, atop toast for lunch, or as an appetizer with soft cheese and rye bread.


  • 1 lb fillet of wild salmon, skin on and pin bones removed
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup Kosher Salt
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon crushed coriander seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Meyer Lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 shot of Whiskey
  • 4 sprigs of fresh dill
salting the fish with herbs and citrus zest
finished preparation of cured salmon on cutting board with herbs and orange zest

1. Rub both sides of the fish with olive oil.

2. Combine kosher salt, sugar, pepper, brown sugar, crushed coriander seeds, meyer lemon zest, and fresh rosemary in a small bowl.

3. Lay salmon with the skin side down in a deep dish or pan. Spoon the salt mixture over the surface of the fish and drizzle the whiskey on top.

4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Baste frequently with the liquid that forms in the pan.

5. After 36-48 hours when the fish is firm to your touch, take salmon out of the dish and slice diagonally into thin slices. The remaining fish can be stored in the fridge for 5 days.

6. Serve with fresh dill.

finished dish