Dill and vodka gravlax

Dill and vodka gravlax

Elisa Watson

I’ve been making this gravlax since my days at Cooper & Milla’s and we haven’t changed the recipe. It’s a house specialty at Miss Ruben, hand-sliced fresh every day on bagels – of course – and as a side to eggs, or sold by itself in take-home packets. We’re also known for our gravlax served on grazing tables at events – no matter how much there is, it goes every time. It needs to be refrigerated for 48 hours.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 1.3kg side of salmon, pin-boned (ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
800g salt
340g light brown sugar
340g caster (superfine) sugar
2 star anise
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
5 thyme sprigs
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
4ml vodka
Buckwheat blinis, to serve
Herby quark, to serve
salmon eggs or caviar, to serve
1 egg, hard-boiled and finely grated, to garnish
microgreens, for example lemon balm, to garnish
1/2 red onion, finely diced, to garnish
2 radishes, finely sliced, to garnish
Crispy capers, to garnish


  1. Rinse the salmon under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Combine the salt, sugars, star anise, ground spices, thyme, dill and orange and lemon zests in a bowl to make the curing mixture.
  3. Spread half the curing mixture on a sheet of plastic wrap. Place the fish on top, skin side down.
  4. Spread the rest of the curing mixture evenly over the flesh of the fish, massaging it in well.
  5. Drizzle the vodka over the salmon and wrap it tightly in the plastic wrap. Place it skin-side down in a large baking dish.
  6. Place a flat glass or ceramic dish on top of the salmon and weigh the dish down with a couple of plates or heavy books. Refrigerate for 48 hours.
  7. Unwrap the salmon and rinse off all the curing mixture under cold water. Pat the fish dry with paper towel.
  8. To serve, cut the salmon diagonally into paper-thin slices.
  9. Pile slices of gravlax onto individual buckwheat blinis, top with the herby quark and salmon eggs or caviar, then garnish with the grated egg, microgreens, onion, radish and crispy capers.
Jewish cooking
Chicken soup
Yom kippur
Dinner party
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