Home-curing gravlax, while perhaps not on par with dry-aging steaks at home or transforming a slab of pork belly into bacon, might still seem like a culinary experiment best left to the experts, but that's not the case. Minimal effort and time are required — the salmon cures for a mere three days — to yield results far superior to the majority of store-bought options. This is largely because you, not the producer, are in control of the quality of fish you select, as well as the choice of flavoring agents. And at a third of the price, home-cured gravlax is far more economical than store-bought, even when using top-quality ingredients.
Seek out the freshest salmon you can acquire: the flavor of the fish intensifies as moisture is lost in the curing process. Instructions here are for gravlax with a classic dill and anise flavor profile, but feel free to experiment with other spices and herbs; just keep the ratio of sugar, salt, and fish consistent.