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Healthy Salmon Gravlax

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I might be risking a mass revolt here… but I don’t like smoked salmon all that much.

Yes, before you ask, I have tried it in many ways and on a number of occasions and it just doesn’t do it for me. I’ll probably be run out of town now, as I live in an area that is famous for its salmon products, especially its smoked salmon.

I do however love this salt-cured low-carb salmon, or gravlax. You can use it in all the ways that you would normally use smoked salmon (in Savory Salmon Fat Bombs, Keto Omelet Wrap with Salmon & Avocado or Keto Salmon & Cream Cheese Mug Muffin).

It’s particularly good to make up for a keto dinner party or brunch when you really want to impress. Can you imagine casually passing around a platter of your own cured salmon? And nobody will ever know that the hardest part of the process is waiting for a couple of days before you can pop a thinly sliced morsel of it in your mouth.

You can play with the herbs and flavours as much as you like, once you get the hang of the process.

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Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per serving, about 50 g/ 1.8 oz)

Net carbs0.1 grams
Protein10.8 grams
Fat3 grams
Calories76 kcal

Calories from carbs 1%, protein 61%, fat 38%

Total carbs0.2 gramsFiber0.1 gramsSugars0 gramsSaturated fat0.6 gramsSodium253 mg(11% RDA)Magnesium17 mg(4% RDA)Potassium236 mg(12% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 10 servings)

  • 1 side of salmon (500 g/ 1.1 lb)
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality rock salt (93 g/ 3.3 oz)
  • zest of 2 lemons (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp white peppercorns
  • bunch of dill, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2-3 tbsp Erythritol or Swerve
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of white spirit (gin, vodka, aquavit etc) or you can use water

Note: nutrition facts for curing spices are included partially.


  1. Zest the lemon and chop the herbs. Healthy Salmon Gravlax
  2. Place lemon zest, peppercorns and Erythritol into a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind until fine. Mix with rock salt and spirit to form a rough paste. Healthy Salmon Gravlax
  3. Lay cling wrap out on bench and spread a third of the cure over the centre of it. Place half of the chopped dill on top of the salt cure.
  4. Place the salmon on top of the cure and spread the remaining dill over and around the fillet. Cover with the balance of the salt cure. You want the dill to be the closest ingredient to the salmon.
  5. Wrap cling wrap very tightly around fish and cure and add a few more cling wrap layers. Place in a container and sit a plate on top, weighted with tin cans. Healthy Salmon Gravlax
  6. Sit in the refrigerator for 48 hours, turning every 12 hours or so. The salmon will be cured when it is firm to the touch. Wipe salt cure off.
  7. Gently run a sharp knife under the skin to remove. Slice salmon thinly. Salmon gravlax will keep for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Healthy Salmon Gravlax

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, about 50 g/ 1.8 oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Salmon, raw
0 g10.8 g3 g73 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Erythritol (natural low-carb sweetener)
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Spices, pepper, white
0.1 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Lemon zest (peel), fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Dill, fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Gin, distilled alcoholic beverage (~40% vol)
0 g0 g0 g2 kcal
Total per serving, about 50 g/ 1.8 oz
0.1 g10.8 g3 g76 kcal
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Naomi Sherman
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Naomi Sherman

Naomi is the force behind Naomi Sherman, Food Creative. She is passionate about recipe development, food photography and styling.

An accomplished home cook who was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease eight years ago, Naomi started to explore the connection between healthy, whole food and her symptoms, and a new love was born.

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Comments (12)

Hi. What brand of salt do you use here? Would pink Himalayan salt work? Thanks!


Absolutely! Sea salt or pink Himalayan are great options.


I join you in the appreciation of cured salmon. What is most interesting is that, if you cure your salmon a bit longer, the refridgerated shelf life people expands exponentially. I have cured salmon for Christmas and, well wrapped, enjoyed it at New Years as well.
Also, if you can get matching sides of salmon you can cure them together, fresh side to flesh side, with some cure on the outer sides too. Do keep your dill adjacent to each side's flesh.


David, that's a fantastic idea, thank you!


A side of salmon??? Do you mean a filet?


It is the whole half (side) of the salmon but you can use several fillets instead).


Actually there's nothing wrong with using the sugar the is in the original gravlax. The salmon doesn't absorb that much and it helps it keep longer. I can keep my gravlax for several weeks in the refrigerator, just cut of the piece you want to eat but let the rest still be stuck to the skin and you're golden.
Wouldn't have a Christmas without it.


Thank you for the tips Lexi!


Except for using sugar? Is your recipe the same?  How much sugar do you use?


This recipe uses 2-3 tablespoon of erythritol. I'd still personally use the erythritol as I have not tried sugar and can't confirm how much of it will end up in the salmon.


Can you taste the Erythritol or Swerve? I use this type product in coffee etc... but in a cure? (aside from the cooling effect you get which I would expect to be quite horrible on smoked salmon) - I fear that using it would ruin an expensive piece of fish and the time & effort to cure  it and then cold smoke it etc...
I wonder as Lexi said, that the salmon doesn't absorb that much of the sugar? I went to several commercially prepared smoked salmon products to look at the nutritional information... for example President's Choice "Bay of Fundy Smoked Atlantic Salmon" lists as the ingredient: Atlantic salmon, salt, brown sugar, natural smoke.  The Nutritional information Label says that per 55 grams of product there is 0 grams of sugar? I looked at others as well - some listed 1 gram per 55 grams but still quite a reasonable amount.
I unfortunately cant make the assumption that home cured smoked Nova Lox is prepared in the same way as the commercial product - but I would hope so.


I think it won't make the salmon too high in carbs - even if you end up with a gram of carbs per serving, so I think you can use sugar. But the only way to tell would be to measure your blood sugar levels (I'm saying this in case you really have to be careful as I wouldn't advice someone with type 1 diabetes to use it). Having said that, I don't think the erythritol or Swerve would make it taste horrible. I've been using low-carb sweeteners in marinades for meat and they always taste great.