Montreal Smoked Meat Spice Gravlax

Did you know that The Wandering Chew has two recipes in FEAST: An Edible Road Trip? Most people know that our Montreal bagel recipe is in the cookbook (mostly because we like to tell everyone we meet about the recipe – really – it’s THAT good), but we also contributed an amazing gravlax recipe. This gravlax references another iconic Montreal food (other than bagels) – smoked meat! Traditional smoked meat requires days of curing and hours of smoking, making it hard to recreate. Instead, we came up with this Montreal smoked meat spice gravlax recipe that allows you to experience the flavours of smoked meat without ever needing a giant smoker. Grab a bagel, get yourself a cream cheese schmear going, top it with some of this gravlax and voila! Classic Montreal flavours galore.


Smoked Meat Spice Mix

  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  • 1 1.5-2 pound fillet of salmon, pin bones removed
  • 4.5 tbsp Montreal smoked meat spice mix
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup salt


To remove the pin bones from the salmon fillets (if the fishmonger hasn’t already), run your fingers along the top of the fish and pinch the ends of the bones with tweezers, pressing down on the flesh with your other hand and pulling the bones out. Repeat until all bones are gone.

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the smoked meat spice mix together.

In another bowl, stir the salt, sugar and smoked meat spice mix together.

Place the salmon on a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread the spice mix with the sugar and salt on both sides of the filet, making sure to coat it completely.

Wrap the fillet tightly in plastic wrap and place it on a small sheet pan or on a plate with high sides to contain the juices released during curing. Weigh down the fillet by placing heavy cans on top.

Refrigerate the salmon for 48 hours, making sure to flip the fish every twelve hours. The gravlax is finished curing when the thickest part of the fillet feels firm to the touch.

Wipe the curing mixture off the salmon fillet and place skin side down on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice cured gravlax into thin pieces, making sure to cut against the grain while holding your knife at a 45-degree angle. Pull each slice away from the skin. The uncut fillets will keep, well-wrapped, in the fridge for a week.

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