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Scratchlox (Cured Salmon)

Scratchlox (Cured Salmon)


  • 3 fresh red beets, scrubbed but unpeeled
  • 1 fresh horseradish, scrubbed but unpeeled
  • 4 bunches fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup green or black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 side (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) wild salmon, cleaned
  • 2 lemons, sliced


  1. Using a box grater, grate beet and horseradish into a large mixing bowl. Chop 3 dill bunches and add to beet mixture with crushed peppercorns, salt, and sugar. Toss lightly and let rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Cut salmon in half crosswise. Place a wire cooling rack inside a large sheet pan, and place salmon pieces on top, skin-side down.
  3. Pack beet mixture on top of salmon, coating it entirely. Cover sheet pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in fridge to cure for 40 hours.
  4. To serve, brush cure off salmon and discard along with liquid in the pan. Carefully wash salmon in cold water, then pat dry. Arrange lemon slices on top. Chop remaining bunch of dill and scatter over all. Return to fridge until ready to slice and serve.
  5. When slicing salmon, use a sharp knife. Most people enjoy a thin but toothsome few slices of gravlax as opposed to hunks, but it may take some practice. Lox will last 3 to 4 days in the fridge.


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