Asian-Style Gravlax Recipe with Salmon, Kosher Salt, Brown Sugar, Chile Flakes, Five Spice, and Ginger Root

Asian-style Gravlax

Asian-Style Gravlax Recipe with Salmon, Kosher Salt, Brown Sugar, Chile Flakes, Five Spice, and Ginger Root
Region / culture: Asia | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 0 minutes | Servings: 6


Asian-style Gravlax
Asian-style Gravlax

Asian-style Gravlax is a delightful fusion dish that marries the traditional Scandinavian technique of curing fish with the bold flavors of Asian cuisine. This recipe transforms salmon into a succulent, flavorful delicacy with a hint of spice, sweetness, and the aromatic touch of ginger. It's a perfect appetizer or a light meal, offering a unique twist on the classic gravlax.


Gravlax, originally from Scandinavia, involves curing salmon with salt, sugar, and dill. This method was developed in the Middle Ages as a way to preserve fish. The Asian-style Gravlax recipe takes this traditional technique and infuses it with ingredients common in Asian cooking, such as ginger, chile flakes, and five spice powder, reflecting the growing trend of fusion cuisine.


How to prepare

  1. Place the salmon on a baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, combine salt, sugar, chili flakes, and five spice powder. Mix well.
  3. Spread the gingerroot over the top and bottom of the salmon.
  4. Cover the salmon with the spice mixture on both sides.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 days, or until the fish is firm to the touch.
  6. To serve, slice the salmon as thinly as possible with a sharp knife.
  7. Serve cold with French bread and crème fraîche mixed with a wasabi paste.


  • For a twist on the traditional recipe, try substituting the salmon with another type of fish such as trout or Arctic char. You can also experiment with the spices used in the cure, perhaps adding lemongrass or lime zest for a different flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best results, use fresh, high-quality salmon. The curing process enhances the fish's flavor, so starting with a good product is crucial. Also, ensure the salmon is evenly covered with the curing mix to guarantee a consistent texture and taste throughout. When slicing the cured salmon, use a long, sharp knife and cut thin, even slices for the best presentation and texture.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Asian-style Gravlax thinly sliced on a platter with a side of French bread, crème fraîche mixed with wasabi paste, and perhaps some capers or dill for garnish. It can also be served atop a salad or as part of a sushi or poke bowl for a more filling meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is curing, which involves covering the salmon with a mix of salt, sugar, and spices, then allowing it to sit refrigerated for several days. This process draws moisture out of the fish, concentrating its flavors and giving it a firm texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have five spice powder, you can make a simple substitute by mixing ground cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns. For a less spicy version, reduce or omit the chile flakes.

Make Ahead Tips

This dish is inherently a make-ahead recipe, as the salmon needs to cure for at least 3 days. After curing, the gravlax can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week, making it a convenient option for entertaining or meal prep.

Presentation Ideas

For an elegant presentation, arrange the sliced gravlax on a slate or wooden board. Garnish with thin slices of cucumber, radish, or a sprinkle of sesame seeds and fresh herbs. Serve with small bowls of the crème fraîche wasabi mixture and soy sauce for dipping.

Pairing Recommendations

Asian-style Gravlax pairs beautifully with a crisp, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a light, floral Sake. For a non-alcoholic option, try a ginger beer or a sparkling water with a squeeze of lime.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover gravlax tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a week. Since this dish is served cold, there's no need for reheating. If you've made a large batch, you can also freeze portions of the gravlax for up to a month.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Asian-style Gravlax contains approximately 200 calories, making it a relatively low-calorie option that's full of flavor. It's an excellent choice for those monitoring their calorie intake but still looking for satisfying, nutrient-rich meals.


This Asian-style Gravlax is relatively low in carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbs in this recipe come from the brown sugar used in the curing process. Each serving contains approximately 5 grams of carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for low-carb diets.


Salmon is known for its healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. A serving of this gravlax contains about 13 grams of fat, most of which are unsaturated fats. The omega-3s in salmon can help reduce inflammation and are linked to a lower risk of heart disease.


A single serving of Asian-style Gravlax is an excellent source of high-quality protein, providing about 23 grams. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, making this dish a great option for post-workout meals or for those looking to increase their protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

Salmon is rich in various vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin D, B12, selenium, and potassium. These nutrients play vital roles in bone health, energy production, and the immune system. The ginger added to the recipe also provides additional health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.


The main allergens to be aware of in this recipe are fish (salmon) and potentially gluten, depending on the accompaniments served with the gravlax. Always check the labels of any additional ingredients used to ensure they meet your dietary needs.


Asian-style Gravlax is a nutritious, flavorful dish that's low in carbohydrates and calories but high in protein and healthy fats. It provides a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, making it a beneficial addition to a balanced diet.


Asian-style Gravlax is a fusion dish that combines the traditional Scandinavian technique of curing fish with the vibrant flavors of Asian cuisine. It's a nutritious, flavorful option that's perfect for special occasions or as a gourmet addition to your meal rotation. With its balance of sweet, spicy, and umami flavors, it's sure to impress any palate.

How did I get this recipe?

I can still remember the exact moment I discovered this recipe for Asian-style Gravlax. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend, Mrs. Lee, who had recently returned from a trip to Japan. As we sat in her cozy kitchen, sipping tea and catching up on old times, she suddenly pulled out a beautifully wrapped package from her bag.

"I brought you a little gift from my trip," she said with a smile as she handed me the package. I carefully unwrapped it to reveal a gorgeous piece of salmon, marinated in a fragrant blend of soy sauce, ginger, and other exotic spices.

"It's called Asian-style Gravlax," Mrs. Lee explained. "I learned the recipe from a local chef in Kyoto, and I thought you might enjoy trying it at home."

I was intrigued by the unique combination of flavors and couldn't wait to try it for myself. Mrs. Lee graciously shared the recipe with me, and I made a mental note to add it to my collection of treasured recipes.

When I returned home, I wasted no time in preparing the Asian-style Gravlax. I carefully followed Mrs. Lee's instructions, marinating the salmon in a rich mixture of soy sauce, mirin, ginger, and garlic. The smell that wafted through my kitchen as the salmon cured was simply divine, and I knew right then and there that this recipe would become a new favorite in my repertoire.

After a few days of patient waiting, the Gravlax was finally ready to be enjoyed. I sliced it thinly and served it on a bed of crisp cucumber slices, garnished with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a drizzle of tangy ponzu sauce. The flavors were simply exquisite – the salty richness of the salmon perfectly complemented by the freshness of the cucumber and the zesty kick of the ponzu sauce.

I couldn't wait to share my newfound recipe with my family and friends. I hosted a small dinner party and served the Asian-style Gravlax as an appetizer, much to the delight of my guests. They raved about the dish, asking for seconds and begging me for the recipe.

As the years went by, the Asian-style Gravlax became a staple in my kitchen. I would make it for special occasions, family gatherings, and even just for myself on a quiet evening at home. Each time I prepared the dish, I would think back to that fateful day in Mrs. Lee's kitchen and feel grateful for her generosity in sharing the recipe with me.

I continued to experiment with the recipe, adding my own personal twists and touches to make it truly my own. Sometimes I would swap out the soy sauce for tamari, or add a hint of wasabi for an extra kick. Each variation was a delicious success, and I loved the creative freedom that the recipe offered me.

As the years passed, I shared the recipe with countless friends and family members, each one falling in love with the unique flavors of the Asian-style Gravlax. It became a beloved tradition in our household, a dish that would always bring back memories of good times shared with loved ones.

And so, as I sit here reflecting on the journey that led me to discover this wonderful recipe, I can't help but feel grateful for the friendships, experiences, and culinary adventures that have enriched my life. The Asian-style Gravlax may have been a gift from Mrs. Lee, but it has become so much more than that – a symbol of love, friendship, and the joy of sharing good food with those we hold dear.


| Asian Recipes | Ginger Recipes | Healthy Appetizers | Salmon Recipes | Seafood Appetizer Recipes |

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