Salt Block Cured Gravlax


  • 2 8x8x2 inch salt blocks

  • 1 bunch fresh dill sprigs

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon cracked fennel seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 pound salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed

  • Whole grain crackers, for serving

  • Crème fraîche, for garnish

  • Chopped fresh dill, for garnish


    1. Cover one block with half of the dill sprigs. Mix the dry ingredients. Place the salmon on the dill-covered salt block, skin down. Coat the fleshy parts of the salmon, and cover with the remainder of the dill sprigs. Place the second salt block on top, wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap, and place in a fridge.
    2. Leave in the fridge until the fish becomes resilient but not firm to the touch. The top surface should be dry, the sides moist, and the flesh will be slightly opaque. Allow one to three days. Thinner and wild salmon cure faster, while thicker and farm-raised salmon take longer.
    3. When it is ready, unwrap the gravlax, rinse off the spices, and pat dry. Serve skin side down crackers and top with crème fraîche and dill.
    Recipe & Photos by Mark Bitterman
    To see more of Mark's photos and recipes, check out Salt Block Cooking.

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