Nigella Lawson soaks her raw salmon in gin, mustard and sugar and serves it in thin slithers for a Christmas starter
By Nigella Lawson
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus overnight marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 kg salmon, fillet, skin still attached
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tsp English mustard, prepared
  • 2 tbsp gin
  • large handful fresh dill, roughly chopped


1. Place the salmon fillet, skin-side down, into a wide, shallow dish that fits the salmon snugly.

2. Place the salt, sugar, English mustard and gin into a clean bowl and mix well until the ingredients have combined to form a yellow mixture with a smooth texture.

3. Spread the mixture over the salmon's pink flesh so that it has been totally covered.

4. Sprinkle the dill onto the paste-covered salmon and pat down. Press the dill onto the flesh so that no pink flesh from the salmon is visible.

5. Turn the fish over in the dish so that the skin is facing upwards. Cover the dish with one layer of cling film. Press the cling film down onto the edges of the fish before wrapping it around the sides of the dish. Once this has been completed repeat the process with another layer of cling film.

6. Apply weight to the top of the fish to press it down into the dish (jars, tins or any other weights can be used). Transfer the fish to the fridge and leave for 2-3 days.

7. After 2-3 days, unwrap the cling film from dish and remove the salmon fillet. Brush off the dill from the salmon.

8. Place the salmon fillet on a carving board flesh-side up. With a long, sharp knife, carefully carve very thin diagonal slivers of the pink flesh off the salmon. Work from the right-hand end of the fillet (unless you are left-handed). Re-wrap the fillet in cling film and keep the gravlax in the fridge if it is not all sliced in one go.

9. To serve, place on a clean plate.

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