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Alaska Salmon Gravlax

While I call this Alaska Salmon Gravlax, you can make with whatever salmon you happen to have access to. This cold cured, unsmoked salmon gravlax recipe is perfect for adding to bagels and cream cheese any day of the week!

Alaska Salmon Gravlax

One year during our summertime fresh salmon influx, I had the brain capacity to remember “I want to make lox”. I couldn’t remember to wash laundry or plan a meal ahead of time but that little quiet place in my head had lox imprinted on it.

Alaska Salmon Gravlax

I looked in my old standby cookbooks but was left empty-handed! Thank God for Google and Laurie of Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska. After reading through many recipes hers seemed the most likely candidate.

It also helped that I had most of the ingredients on hand except citrus vodka. That being said her recipe makes gravlax that can render me speechless.

What kind of Salmon do you need to make Gravlax?

I use and prefer to use and Sockeye Salmon. Silver Salmon would probably be fine as well. I would not use a King Salmon or a Pink Salmon.

King Salmon will be too fatty, and it won’t taste that great. Pink Salmon is too mushy, which is why its best used in canned salmon products.

If all you have access to is farmed salmon that would be acceptable but do look for wild-caught salmon, as an Alaskan I always say pay the price for wild salmon.

Can I freeze Gravlax AFTER I make it?

YES! You can freeze Gravlax after you make it. It’s my favorite way to make it actually. I make a big batch from FRESH CLEAN Salmon, cure it, and then freeze it.

To freeze Gravlax lay it flat in a Vacuum Sealer Bag, I own the Big Game Pro. Be sure the bag is bigger than your fillet so you’re not squishing it in. Vacuum Seal it and then lay it flat in the freezer to freeze. So easy!

Can I make Gravlax from Salmon that’s been Frozen?

YES! I do that a lot too! I like to make sure all the bones are pulled from super fresh, super clean sockeye fillets. Then I freeze two together flesh sides in.

To make Gravlax from frozen salmon just defrost the salmon in the fridge overnight. And proceed to the curing steps.

How to Make Alaska Salmon Gravlax

This is SO easy and the ingredients are nothing special! You will need:

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • sugar and salt
  • vodka
  • dill
  • peppercorns
  • 2 9X13 pans, glass or pyrex no metal pans unless
  • plastic wrap
  • and a couple of days of refrigeration

Yes, that’s it! Nothing special or hard to find for this salmon gravlax

If you’re looking for another Gravlax Recipe, I’ve got this one for Spruce Tips Gravlax. If you make it ahead of time, when spruce tips and salmon are plentiful, it freezes beautifully for a fun Christmas Morning Breakfast.

Alaska Salmon Gravlax

1 fillet with cure, 1 without

After 2 days I tasted it and it was not quite lox but close. Another 24 hours and thankfully it was done the next morning for a breakfast on the lawn party.

Alaska Salmon Gravlax
Alaska Salmon Gravlax

Even the birds joined us and snoopy

Alaska Salmon Gravlax

Alaska Salmon Gravlax
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cure Time 3 days
Total Time 3 days 20 minutes


  • 2 Three Pound Salmon Fillets, skin on
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup crushed peppercorns
  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2/3 cup vodka


  1. pick over the salmon and pull any pin bones, scale it if it hasn't been done, and then give it a wash in cold water
  2. lay the fillets flat in a 9X13 glass pan
  3. wash and zest the lemon, then juice it
  4. mix the sugar and salt together, add the zested lemon peel, and the peppercorns
  5. sprinkle the salt/sugar combo over both salmon fillets
  6. mix the lemon juice with the vodka, pour it over the fillets
  7. sprinkle the dill evenly over both fillets
  8. then turn it over flesh side down on top of the other salmon fillet
  9. wrap the pan in plastic wrap then set another 9X13 pan on top with a couple of big cans to equal about 10 pounds
  10. put in the refrigerator for up to three days, unwrapping and turning salmon twice a day, and securely wrapping, adding the pan and the weight to it
  11. after 48 hours take a small slice and taste it, does it feel cured? Is it firmer and easy to slice? It might be ready to go. I prefer to keep flipping and wrapping for the full 72 hours for the best results
  12. slice it thinly and serve as desired
  13. to freeze lay it flat in Vacuum Sealer Bags, seal, lay flat to freeze
  14. defrost in the refrigerator before slicing

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laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

11 thoughts on “Alaska Salmon Gravlax”

  1. Lovely photos.

    Homemade lox on a bagel. Delish. I'd love to have this for breakfast right about now. I've always wanted to try make my own.

  2. Ok, it's settled, I'm moving in with you.

    I love love love lox and it doesn't get any fresher than this! You must share that cheesy casserole looking thing in your Le Creuset!

    Also, don't be alarmed if your adorable Snoopy birdhouse goes missing! ๐Ÿ˜‰ That's too cute for words!

  3. What a delicious spread! It all looks so amazing. I'd love a lawn party, as long as I didn't melt just stepping outside. I'll have to wait a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You know I started looking for the little yellow dog in the pictures. I thought maybe it was a where's waldo type of thing. Oh well. Maybe next time.

  5. Wow this looks like so much fun, you always are doing such fun things!

    Still loving the glasses ๐Ÿ™‚ Just beautiful my dear ๐Ÿ™‚


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