Remove the fillet from each side of the salmon, or ask your fishmonger to do this for you, leaving the skin intact. Discard head and bones. Pat the salmon with damp paper towels. Remove any protruding pin bones (the bones that stick out of the middle of the fillet) with tweezers. Combine the sugar, salt and pepper and rub on both sides of the fillets.
You will need a ceramic dish wide enough for the fillets to lie flat in. Place about a third of the dill into the dish. Sprinkle the dill with 1 tablespoon vodka. Place one fillet, skin-side down, into the dish. Cover the fillet with a third of the dill, a tablespoon of vodka and half the lemon rind. Top with the second fillet, skin-side up. Match up the pieces so the thicker end of the top piece sits over the thinner end of the bottom one, making the neatest possible package.
Place the remaining dill on top of the fish along with the remaining tablespoon of vodka. Cover the fish completely in plastic wrap, very tightly. Weigh it down (without crushing it) with a heavy dish. Place the ceramic dish in the fridge and leave it for 3 days, turning the fish once daily.


  • 1 whole salmon, weighing at least 2 kg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 tbsp crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 medium bunch dill
  • 3 tbsp vodka
  • 1 lemon, grated rind