Gravadlax or Gravlax is a Scandinavian dish of cured salmon, prepared with salt, sugar, and dill. Gravadlax is normally carefully cut into very thin slices and served with rye bread or boiled potatoes and a distinctive dill and mustard sauce and is one of the dishes served in a traditional Smörgåsbord. The dish is believed to have originated in the middle ages and the salmon was fermented, today Gravadlax is dry cured as described below, however, new flavours are beginning to be added such as beetroot and vodka, which gives the salmon a deep pink hue, gin and juniper berries and even whiskey, apple and honey although these are technically cured salmon recipes.

Gravadlax Salmon
Slicing cured Gravadlax Salmon

Some recipes for Gravadlax have a slightly saltier cure and some have a sweeter cure you can experiment to find your own personal preference. I like the flavour from the dark Muscovado sugar but again you can substitute it for light brown or caster sugar if you prefer.

For the Gravadlax

1 kg piece of skin-on Salmon fillet ( Ask your fishmonger to pin-bone it for you )

75 gr fine Sea Salt

85 gr Muscovado Sugar

½ teaspoon White Peppercorn, crushed between two spoons

Zest of 1 Lemon

A small handful of fresh Dill ( around 20 gr ), finely chopped


For the Dill & Mustard sauce

A small handful of fresh Dill ( around 20 gr ), finely chopped

3 tablespoons Dijon Mustard

3 tablespoons Rape Seed Oil

1 tablespoon Wholegrain Mustard

2 tablespoons Muscovado Sugar

2 tablespoons Runny Honey

A good splash of Cider Vinegar

Juice of 1 Lemon

Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Rinse the salmon under the cold tap then dry with kitchen paper. Place skin side down in a glass or other none reactive deep-sided tray. Place the salt, sugar, crushed peppercorns, lemon zest, and dill into a food processor and blitz. Cover the salmon fillet with the cure mixture and then with cling film.

Lay a baking tray on top of the salmon and weigh the tray down with a couple of heavy tins and place in the refrigerator for at least forty-eight hours. Turn the fish over approximately every twelve hours, recover with cling film and place back into the refrigerator. Once the fish is cured you can remove it from the cure and tightly wrapped in cling film it will keep for a further couple of days in the refrigerator.

Alternatively, remove the fish from the cure the fish and rinse off the excess marinade. Pat dry with kitchen paper and place on a board. Using a very sharp knife slice the fish into long thin D-shaped slices, leaving the skin behind. Serve the Gravadlax with rye or pumpernickel bread and the dill and mustard sauce.

For the Sauce

To make the sauce, place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have a thickened dressing.

What to Drink? Gravadlax is classically matched with flinty, Chablis or a buttery Mâcon Villages or in Scandinavia paired with chilled Schnapps.

Allergens in this recipe are;

   Mustard  Raw Fish

Please see the Allergens Page

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