Grav Lachs

Grav Lachs, or “buried salmon” is a tasty appetizer that works and plays well with others. It’s nice with fruit and cheese platters at any party. Or you could just put a shmear of cream cheese on a bagel and a slice or two of Grav Lachs!


  • 2 fillets of wild salmon, 8 inches each
  • 1/2cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup white sugar, depending on taste
  • 1 Tbs coarsely ground black pepper
  • fresh dill, enough to cover the fillet
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • Add all ingredients to list


  1. Remove all of the bones from the fillet with a needle nose pliers. Bones are easily felt by running your hand lengthwise along the fillet. Freeze the cleaned fish for at least a week at about -10F. This will kill any parasites. Most store bought salmon has already been frozen. Ask your butcher/fish monger.
  2. After a week (or more) thaw the salmon. When totally thawed, pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Mix the salt and sugar and pepper together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Take a nine by nine glass baking dish and lay a foot and a half piece of plastic wrap across the dish. Allow the wrap to touch the bottom of the pan. Lay another equal sized piece across the other way. Place one fillet in the baking dish, skin side down. Liberally sprinkle with the salt mixture. Lay half of the fresh dill over the salmon fillet. Spread it out so the whole fillet is covered in dill. Next lay pieces of lemon over the dill to cover the whole fillet. Spread the remaining dill over the lemon. Sprinkle with more salt mixture. Also sprinkle the flesh of the other fillet liberally with salt mixture and then rub the salt into the flesh and then turn the fillet over onto the other fillet in the baking pan. Make sure that the thick part of one fillet is resting on the thinner part of the other.
  5. Wrap the plastic wrap around the fish first one way and then the other, forming a neat, tight package. Leave this package in the nine by nine baking dish. Place a weighted plate, dish or board on top of the package of fish. Place in the refrigerator.
  6. Every day turn the fish over for at least two days. After the second day remove the fish from the plastic wrap and rinse away the salt mixture and remove the dill and lemon. Pat the fillets dry, wrap in plastic wrap for the freezer or vacuum pack the fillets. They keep frozen very well, though you can eat the fillet at this point.
  7. To serve, slice the fillet very thin, on the bias, being careful to leave behind the skin.