Beetroot Cured Salmon Gravlax

I had this as a starter in a restaurant and really enjoyed it. It is easy to make and the colour is also just right for Christmas.


Dry cure

  • 500 g Norwegian salmon fillet, with the skin on
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) castor sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) coarse salt
  • dill or fennel, a few fronds
  • 1 T (15 ml) lemon rind, grated

Wet cure

  • 2 T (30 ml) fresh horseradish, grated fresh or bottled
  • 1 medium beetroot, washed, unpeeled and coarsely grated

To serve

  • Ina Paarman’s Classic French Dressing
  • 1 beetroot, peeled and cut into fine julienne strips
  • dill, watercress or baby rocket
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges
  • freshly ground black pepper

Take the pin-bones out of the fish. See Ina’s VIP tip at the end of the recipe

Mix together sugar, salt, 2 T (30 ml) chopped dill and lemon rind.

Stretch a large sheet of cling film over a large casserole dish and spoon some of the dry cure over. Lay the fillet, skin side down, on the cure, then pack the rest of the dry cure on the meaty side of the salmon. Top with a mixture of the grated beetroot and horseradish.

Wrap tightly with cling film. Put a smaller dish on top and weigh it down with a couple of tins. Leave in the fridge for two days. Don’t be alarmed by the liquid that leaks out, this is normal. Discard the liquid.

To serve

Unwrap the salmon from the cling film and brush off both the wet and dry cures. Slice the salmon into thin slivers against the skin.

Arrange salmon on a plate, add a drizzle of Classic French Dressing, a tiny pile of beetroot julienne, a few sprigs of greenery and a small lemon wedge.

Finish off with a grinding of black pepper.

Ina's Tip

Before curing the salmon, turn a large mixing bowl upside down and drape the salmon, skin side down, over it, to force the pin-bones to stick up more prominently. Remove bones with a pair of tweezers or a small pair of tongs. This will make the salmon much easier to slice once cured.

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