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Recipe: James Strawbridge’s Cured Gravlax

Charcuterie Gravlax

Recipe: James Strawbridge’s Cured Gravlax 

James Strawbridge shares his method of curing gravlax.

Many of love us love gravlax, but wouldn’t know how to go about it, but actually it’s super simple to prepare. The traditional Scandi method denotes plenty of dill and black pepper in the cure, but James Strawbridge has his very own colourful take that incorporates sweet beetroot and punchy whisky, complete with citrus zing thanks to the orange.

By Felicity Carter

Recipe: James Strawbridge’s Cured Gravlax With Beetroot, Whisky & Orange

Makes 750g (1lb 10oz) gravlax


  • 750g (1lb 10oz) side of salmon, skinned and deboned
  • 75ml (21⁄2fl oz) whisky
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar 
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 beetroot, peeled and grated


  • Large non-reactive container (stainless steel, ceramic, glass, or plastic)
  • Press lid or plates weights or tins


  • To make the cure, mix the whisky, salt, sugar, orange zest and juice, dill, and spices in a bowl, then combine with the grated beetroot.
  • Place the side of salmon in a large non-reactive container and rub the cure into the fish thoroughly on all sides.
  • Apply some pressure on top of the fish to speed up the curing process. I have made a lid that fits inside my curing dish, then I simply add tins from the larder on top to weigh it down. Alternatively, wrap the salmon tightly in baking parchment and press between 2 plates with weights on top (again, evenly spaced tins from the larder are ideal). Leave to cure in the fridge, at below 5°C (41°F), for 36 hours. Check on it occasionally and pour off any liquid brine as it drains from the fish.
  • Scrape off the cure and rinse the salmon under cold running water. Gently pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Slice the side of salmon thinly on an angle and serve. Store in the fridge for 1 week.

Expert Tips

Reduce the curing time by 12 hours if you want a softer texture.

Always use sashimi-grade fish or, to be super safe, freeze the fish for 24 hours before starting the curing process, to kill off any parasites.

Once the fish is cured and patted dry, try adding a crust of red chilli flakes, chopped dill, crushed black pepper, and coriander for a warming play on fish pastrami.

See more recipes in The Artisan Kitchen by James Strawbridge. DK, £20. Out now.


Like this? Check out more of our delicious recipes here

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