Loukie’s Gravlax

This recipe is from Loukie Werle’s charming book, The Valley, a collection of much-loved family recipes.
“Not a Christmas goes by without a call from my daughter, ‘Mum, can you bring the gravlax?’ she writes.
“It has become the go-to dish for festive occasions, and the whole family, including little children, love it.  In my book, gravlax beats smoked salmon any day.
It is incredibly easy to make.  Most fish shops sell fresh salmon, but if you’re not sure, order ahead of time. Sometimes I buy the whole salmon which the fishmonger divides into two sides, and if you ask nicely, he or she will pinbone them for you, as well”.


About this Recipe

By: Sheridan Rogers

Gravlax freezes brilliantly, and if wrapped and sealed properly it will last for many months in your freezer.
Always ask for the fillets with the skin-on: you can slice against the skin, and once you’ve sliced enough, if there’s any salmon left, wrap the skin around to keep the remainder fresh.


  • side of salmon fillet skin on, bones removed


  • sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Malden sea salt flakes, 2 tablespoons
  • crushed peppercorns, 1 teaspoon
  • brandy, 1 tablespoon (optional)
  • dill, a good bunch, chopped, with a few sprigs to serve

Remove any bones from the salmon with tweezers.
Combine the sugar, salt and peppercorns in a bowl, mix well and rub all over the flesh side of the fish with your hands, then sprinkle with brandy.
Cut the fillet in half crosswise. Sprinkle a quarter of the dill in a dish, large enough to hold one of the halves. Place one half skin side down, in the dish, sprinkle with half the remaining dill. Place the second half-fillet on top, flesh sides touching and sprinkle with the remaining dill. Cover with plastic wrap and cover with a large plate, weighed down with heavy cans or a brick. Refrigerate for 1 – 2 days.
Place the salmon on a board, skin side down, and slice thinly against the skin. Serve with sliced rye bread, spread with unsalted butter.