Cheat’s salmon gravlax

Seafood isn’t off the menu if you’re watching your budget. By simply swapping the classic whole side of salmon for smaller pieces, this delicious starter is an impressive and easy-to-do dish for Christmas Day.


¾ cup (240g) rock salt

⅔ cup bunch dill, roughly chopped, plus extra, to garnish

Finely grated zest of 2 small lemons

½ tsp chilli flakes

4 x 200g skinless salmon fillets

2 Tbsp caster sugar

⅓ cup rice wine vinegar

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

1 tsp coriander seeds

Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Crème fraîche, lemon wedges and toasted thinly sliced rye bread, to serve

3 baby cucumbers, thinly sliced


  1. Combine salt, half of the dill, lemon zest and chilli flakes in a bowl. Spread half of the salt mixture over the base of a glass or ceramic  dish and lay the salmon on top. Top with remaining salt mixture, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning salmon after 12 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, in a heatproof container combine sugar, vinegar and ¼ cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Put celery, cucumber, coriander seeds and remaining dill in a clean jar, pour over pickling liquid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Drain pickling liquid.
  3. Remove salmon from dish, gently wash off salt mixture and pat dry with paper towel. Thinly slice salmon against the grain. Top pickled salad with sesame seeds and garnish with extra dill. Serve with crème fraîche, lemon and rye bread.

Salt-cured gravlax can be covered and kept in the fridge for up to 10 days, so make a big batch to see you through Christmas and the New Year. Wrap salmon fillets in plastic wrap and keep in an airtight container, slicing as required.

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