Mexican-Style Gravlax with Cilantro and Tequila

Mexican-Style Gravlax with Cilantro and Tequila

Gravlax con Cilantro y Tequila
24 small toasts
Pati Jinich
Course: Antojos, Breakfast
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: brown sugar, Chipotle, cumin, flour tortillas, lime, pati's mexican table, salmon, tequila
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 days
Total Time: 2 days 10 minutes
Mexican-Style Gravlax with Cilantro and Tequila recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 3, Episode 10 “Brunch at the Jinich House”


  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder, ancho chile powder, or a Mexican mix
  • 2 tablespoons kosher or coarse sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 pound fresh salmon, skin on, bones removed
  • 2 tablespoons silver tequila
  • 6 5-inch Flour tortillas, or whole grain bread, toasted
  • 1 cup Mexican crema
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, chopped
  • 1 lime, halved

To Prepare

  • Combine the cumin, chile powder, salt, pepper, sugar, lime zest and cilantro in a small bowl. Place the salmon flat, skin-side up, in a long baking dish. Make 10 to 12 1-inch slashes in the skin with the tip of a knife, just deep enough to reach the flesh. Rub 1/3 of the salt mixture into skin, then flip the fish over, spoon the tequila over the fish and rub the remaining 2/3 of the salt mixture on the salmon.
  • Cover the fish tightly with plastic wrap, then place a slightly smaller baking dish directly on top of fish and weigh it down with heavy unopened cans. Refrigerate for 2-3 days, basting with the resulting juices each night and re-covering and weighing back down again.
  • When ready to serve, remove the gravlax from the refrigerator. Thinly slice the salmon flesh, taking care not to cut through the skin and arrange the pieces on a platter. Serve with lightly toasted flour tortillas or toasted whole grain bread (keep warm in a clean kitchen towel, bread basket or tortillero), and let everyone garnish with the crema, avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

38 comments on “Mexican-Style Gravlax with Cilantro and Tequila

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  1. This is so good will never have to buy it again in a package. Thank you for sharing this recipe. Have made it twice so far.

  2. HI, I love, love the Salmon gravlax oh my Y ippi. I love all your recepies, awesome an so are you. Keep them coming. Brandi. from Albuquerque, NM…

  3. If I leave out the fresh herb how long will the spice mix last in a sealed container?? Will add fresh herbs when using.

  4. Hi Pati!! I’m so excited about this recipe for Super Bowl!!
    Just put tin into the refrigerator tonight… I’m a bit nervous that a little under 48 hours will leave the salmon uncooked?? How would know if its safe to eat?

    1. Make sure to keep basting it with the juices each night, Christina…and re-cover and weigh it back down each time. The salt cures the salmon, so it’s safe to eat.

  5. Dear Pati,
    I’m Polish and to make some changes and add excitement to our traditional Christmas Eve dinner I have been making your dish for three years now! We all love it. Thank you!!! I have a question or two… I always make a 2-pound salmon portion and double all the spice ingredients. Is that ok or too much? Also, I never take the spice layer off the fish before serving it sliced but I’m afraid it can be a little much for some people. Keeping the spices on is the correct way of serving it, right?

    1. That’s awesome that you have been serving this for so long! Yes if you are using a 2-Lb salmon, double all the spices. I do leave the spices on when serving…but you can remove depending on your guests’ tastes.

  6. Pait- is there a substitute for Tequila? I’m sad to say I’m allergic to everything Agavé😢. I know it may change the flavor but this looks so lovely that I want to give it a try, plus I have everything to make this except Tequila. Thanks

  7. Thanks, Pati. Can we replace the tequila with anything, for people who can’t or don’t want any alcohol? Or is it OK to just leave it out?

  8. My husband and I loved this and I hAve made several times. One question though, why is there cumin and black pepper? It seems like cumin takes the place of the pepper in most recipes. Just wondering.’

    1. I like the taste of the combination of all of the spices here. The cumin has a much more low tone than the pepper and the salmon seems to appreciate having both ; )

  9. I am making this for a VIP event at the school. If I make it on Friday(memorial day weekend), will not be basted over weekend. I will come back on Tuesday. Will the quality hold up until my Thursday morning event.

    My other option is to make it on Tuesday yet am concerned it will not be enough time to cure.

    I was going to serve it with cumin and coriander scented bread.

    1. Hello Chris,
      Go ahead and make it on Friday, it will hold beautifully for Thursday. Make it, baste it and when you return, baste it again. Sounds relish with the cumin and coriander scented bread!

  10. This would be an amazing in a cucumber cup filled with creamed avacado, the gravlox and garnished with a piece of cilantro.

  11. Wow!!! I did it!!! I did it and it was AMAZING!! I can’t wait to try something else. I love that your show is on the Create channel.

  12. Hi Pati,

    Love your show! I want to make this, but my wife doesn’t like cilantro, can you recommend a substitute? Parsley? Thank you.