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Cured Salmon with Gin and Juniper

homemade cured salmon, gravlax

Why not cure your own salmon? Cured salmon, also known as gravlax, is one of the most delicious things on the planet. Buying gravlax can be expensive, and you never know where the fish came from, or what types of nasty salts and sugars were used in the curing process.

But cure your own fish and you’ll have control over all the ingredients – wild or beautiful organic fish from a good source, proper Celtic sea salt and cane sugar. Your skin will thank you, as you will be feeding it raw omega-3 fatty acids. You’ll put in little effort and be rewarded with the most delicious gravlax you and your friends have ever had. And you’ll have an excuse to use gin and juniper berries (and maybe even pine needles) in the kitchen.

So I ask you, why not?

Cured Salmon 2

Cured Salmon with Gin and Juniper Recipe


  • 2 lbs salmon, trout or arctic char, preferably wild, and, if wild is not available, organic, go to the best fishmonger that you can find, I like Hooked (this will likely come in the form of 2 sides of fish – this is perfect)
  • 2 tbsp gin
  • 2 cups Celtic sea salt
  • 2 cups organic cane sugar
  • ¼ cup peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tbsp dried juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 cup fresh dill, chopped (note: you can use pine needles instead, in fact, this is how the OGs did it)

What you’ll need:

  • 2 nonreactive (glass) baking dishes – one to lay the fish in and the other to weigh it down. One will be big and the other smaller to fit inside of it.
  • Things to weigh it down (cans work well)


  1. Roughly grind the juniper berries and peppercorns. Combine with salt and sugar in a medium bowl.
  2. Wash the fish and pat it dry. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of gin on each of the flesh of the fillets. Pat down with your fingers. Rub a few tablespoons of the salt/sugar/juniper/pepper mixture onto both sides of the fish.
  3. Add around ¼ cup of the salt mixture into the bottom of the larger glass dish. Place one fillet, skin side down, on top of the salt.
  4. Add ¼ of the salt mixture onto the piece of fish. Arrange the dill overtop, then another ¼ of the salt mixture. Place the next fillet skin side down overtop. Cover with remaining salt mixture. Press the small dish onto the whole fish, salt and herb “sandwich.” Put some heavy stuff into the top dish to weigh it down.
  5. Place in the fridge. After 10-12 hours, drain off liquid and repack the fish, this time skin to skin. The fish will have firmed up a lot. Try to make sure that both pieces of the fish are covered in salt and, again, place the smaller dish on top to press the fish down.
  6. After another 10-12 hours, rinse the fish and pat dry. Slice into thin pieces with a sharp knife and serve!


Lay the fish out on a large platter with sliced cucumber, red onion, fresh dill, capers and lemon wedges. And some nice bread and Western Creamery cream cheese or goat cheese mixed with chives.

You can cut the skin into strips and lightly fry in some butter, coconut oil or ghee. Feel free to arrange these “chips” on the platter as well. Your guests will go bananas.

Upcoming Events

Spring Transformation Detox – April 11-18, 2015

Each day we come in contact with harmful substances – from the foods we eat, the thoughts we think, the chemicals in our environment and homes, and even by-products of normal metabolism. Even if you live “clean,” it’s impossible to steer clear of every chemical. Spring is the time when your liver is most active, so it makes sense that a cleanse is in order! Join me on a guided detox to shed your winter skin and learn all the tools necessary for a happy, healthy spring. Contact me for more details.


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