Beet-Cured Salmon


Curing fish at home is so much simpler than you might think, and this stunner of a recipe proves it.

Beet Cured Salmon

Greg DuPree

Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
2 days

You’ll be crushing hard on this beet-cured salmon recipe, similar to gravlax, a traditional Nordic dish. The overall preparation is simple. Rub a mixture of grated beets, salt, sugar, dill, and spices on a raw fish fillet. Cover it with plastic wrap, weigh it down, and refrigerate it for two days. The actual prep time is under a half-hour! And the result is beautiful, delicious fish perfect on a cream cheese-schmeared bagel or toast, or served on a bountiful salad. A heads up for the beet-averse: Grated beets lend their vibrant color, but not much flavor, to this swoon-worthy salmon.


  • 2 tsp black peppercorns

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds

  • 2 cups peeled and grated raw beet (from 1 large beet)

  • 1 cup kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 bunch fresh dill, stemmed and finely chopped, divided

  • 1 tsp lemon zest

  • 1 1/2 lb skin-on salmon fillet, about 2 in. thick, pinbones removed 

  • Thinly sliced pumpernickel or rye bread, cream cheese, and lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Place peppercorns and coriander seeds in a zip-top plastic bag. Use something heavy, like a can or meat mallet (flat side down), to lightly crush them. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in beet, salt, sugar, most of dill, and lemon zest.

  2. Line a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with a large sheet of plastic wrap. Use a spoon or silicone spatula to spread about 1/3 of beet mixture evenly on bottom of dish. Place salmon on top, skin side down. Top salmon evenly with remaining beet mixture.

  3. Cover dish tightly with plastic wrap, directly touching salmon. Place another 13-by-9-inch baking dish (or similar) on top. Weigh it down with cans or a heavy object. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 days.

  4. Unwrap salmon and scrape off excess beet mixture. Thinly slice salmon, discarding skin. Serve on bread with cream cheese and lemon wedges. Garnish with remaining dill.

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