Salmon rillettes

Salmon rillettes

15 min
This recipe for light and delicious smoked salmon rillettes tastes incredible on rye bread and performs equally well in a classic standard sandwich. In just a few steps you can conjure up something wonderful that can be adapted with pretty much any additional flavour you like. You can even serve it as part of a versatile tapas evening.


Step 1
  • Remove the bones and skin from the gravlax using a fork.
Step 2
  • Mix together with the other ingredients in a bowl.
Step 3
  • Serve with a heavy rye bread, cornichons, lemon wedges, and chives.

Hot smoked salmon can be used as an alternative to Gravlax or cured salmon.

Questions about salmon rillettes

Keep reading below to find out more about salmon rillettes.

How long do salmon rillettes last in the fridge?
Vacuum-packed gravlax can be stored in the fridge for several weeks. However, once you’ve mixed it with the lemon zest and other ingredients, we recommend storing for it for no longer than a few days in an airtight container to maintain the best flavour.
Do I have to use salmon for rillettes?
Rillettes can be made with all kinds of meat, including pork thigh, pork belly, duck, rabbit or ham. Fish also works well, but always stick to fattier kinds like the salmon used in this recipe.
How are traditional rillettes made?
Traditional rillettes are made by cooking cubed meats, mixed with spices and seasoning, in an oven for 4-6 hours. The meat is broken up over the course of the cooking time to gradually turn it into a flaky paste.
What is the difference between pâté and rillettes?
While the dishes are similar, pâté is smoother than rillettes, and rather than being made from fatty belly or thigh meat is instead the product of organ meat such as liver.


Smoked salmon, Gravlax
300 g
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp
Lemon zest (unwaxed)
1 tsp
Finely sliced chives
20 g
Freshly ground pepper
Soft butter
50 g
Sour cream, 18%
100 ml
Serve with
Rye bread
Pickles (cornichons)
Lemons wedges
Extra chives

The origins of salmon rillettes

Rillettes originated in the Mediterranean as slow-cooked meat with added herbs, stored in jars to preserve the meat for longer periods. These days, the term encompasses a wide range of alternatives, including fish-based versions like this, and is done more for flavour than practicality purposes.

The art of the perfect rillette

The great thing about rillettes is that achieving the perfect result depends almost solely on the quality of the meat. As long as you start with good-quality gravlax, your dish should be set to shine.

Why you should always serve rillettes with a side of cornichons

Whatever you do, don’t skip on the cornichons: these tasty, crunchy sides have an acidic, sharp flavour that cuts through the fattiness of the salmon and brings the perfect balance to the recipe. A great alternative is capers which will add an equally welcome salty, lemony and briny tang to the dish.

Present your salmon rillettes like this

To present the rillettes properly, pack the meat and flavouring into a small mould or jar, then tip it upside down on a plate to create a small tower. The structure won’t last long as you guests are guaranteed to quickly dig in to this deliciously luxurious meal, but that little bit of extra effort lifts the presentation.