mexican style gravlax with cilantro and tequila


Mexican-Style Gravlax with Cilantro and Tequila

Mexican-Style Gravlax with Cilantro and Tequila

Gravlax con Cilantro y Tequila

Recipe Yield

24 small toasts

Cooking time

2 days 10 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.84 from 6 votes


  • 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.


43comments inMexican-Style Gravlax with Cilantro and Tequila

  1. Joseph

    Jul 01

    IN Texas HEB carries fresh Salmon raised in their Fiords it is superior to farm raised Salmon raised in pens in USA. , They also carry Steelhead Trout raised in the Columbia River USA. it is more mild but fat content is excellent “” Good Appetite ” as my old associate. James Beard would say

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 03

      Thanks for the suggestion Joseph 😉

      1. Joseph

        Aug 01

        oh those fiords are in Norway. icy cold water. shipped packed in ice. I prefer mine on a plain bagel with a thin slice yellow onion this is a great recipe I use Vodka and fresh Basil but this TEQUILA recipe is Killer Good will make again and again. did not know Gravlax was made in Mexico is this just a twist created by you ” PEACEBWITHYOU ” ” Good Appetite “

        1. Pati Jinich

          Aug 14

          So glad you liked my recipe Joseph, thanks!

  2. Donna Lembo

    Apr 30

    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.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 30

      Awesome Donna, love to read your enjoyed this recipe 😉

  3. Donna from NJ

    Apr 28

    I made this when I saw the episode on tv a month ago. Making it again today. It is so good.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 11

      Thanks Donna, this is one of my personal favorites 😉

  4. Great. Brandi

    Mar 22

    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…

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 27

      Thank you Brandi!

  5. Django

    May 13

    What do I ask for at the fish market when buying this cut of salmon?

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 16

      You can ask for a pound of fresh salmon with skin on but bones removed. Enjoy, Django!

  6. JoyD

    Apr 14

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

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 19

      Oh that will last a while, Joy. Enjoy the gravlax!

  7. Christina Greer

    Feb 01

    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. Pati

      Feb 02

      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.

  8. Erika

    Jan 23

    Hola Pati, felicidades por el show! The gravlox its such a delicious dish to share with friends. Thanks much!

    1. Pati

      Jan 24

      I’m so glad you and your friends enjoyed the gravlax, Erika.

  9. Kathleen

    Dec 28

    I have made this many times after seeing it on your show, everyone absolutely raved about it. God bless you and your family

    1. Pati

      Dec 28

      So happy to hear that it gets rave reviews, Kathleen!

  10. Marietta

    Dec 21

    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. Pati

      Dec 22

      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.

  11. Leah Castro

    Oct 16

    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

    1. Pati

      Oct 18

      You can skip the tequila and the gravlax will still be delicious!

      1. Joseph. N "Good Eating "

        Jul 01

        hello. you can use Vodka as they use in Iceland and Norway

  12. Jay

    Sep 30

    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?

    1. Pati

      Oct 06

      Hi Jay! That’s no problem…you can skip the tequila and follow the recipe without it.

  13. Ken

    Sep 17

    Once cured, how long will it last under refrigeration?

    1. Pati

      Sep 25

      It will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

  14. Judy

    Jun 29

    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. Pati

      Jul 05

      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 ; )

  15. Chris Pepin

    May 20

    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. Pati

      May 20

      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!

  16. Carolyn

    Mar 25

    Could this be a tostada topping?

    1. Pati

      Mar 25


  17. Ana

    Mar 01

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

    1. Pati

      Mar 03

      That sounds delicious, Ana!

  18. Judy

    Jan 11

    I made this for Christmas morning and the family loved it! I have already made it again.

    1. Pati

      Jan 12

      Hi Judy, So happy to hear everyone enjoyed the gravlax! Thank you for making it!!

  19. Shelia Murray

    Jun 18

    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.

    1. Pati

      Jun 18

      GRRRRRRRRREAT, Shelia!

  20. alex

    Apr 17

    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.

    1. Pati

      Apr 18

      Hola Alex, Thank you! You can substitute any fresh green herb you prefer, such as parsley, chives…

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