I made this for Christmas one year and thought it was the best thing I’d ever tasted. When we were in Norway recently I ate smoked salmon by the tray full. Literally. I ate two whole fish almost single handedly in one week although my seven month old did have a pretty good portion too. It made me think of this recipe again, and I have to share it with you.

Don’t use smoked salmon though!

The salt draws liquid from the salmon and “cooks” it in the fridge over the period of three days. It forms a lot of liquid in the fridge, so make sure to use a large enough bowl.

Serve this as a Saturday or Sunday brunch, or as a starter to an evening meal. It is amazing.

Serves 8

IngredientsGravlax Salmon Dish

  • 1 kg Norwegian salmon fillets (of optimum quality)
  • 60 ml salt (preferably sea salt)
  • 70 ml sugar
  • 3 ml white peppercorns, slightly crushed in a mortar
  • 1 bunch fresh dill, the stems

Mustard sauce

  • 45 ml Swedish mustard or German sweet mustard
  • 5 ml Dijon mustard
  • 5 ml sugar
  • 5 ml vinegar
  • salt, pepper
  • 90 ml mild vegetable oil (not olive oil!)
  • additional fresh dill, finely chopped


For the salmon, remove all bones with a pair of tweezers, but leave the skin on.


Mash the dill stems in a mortar with a little of the salt.

Mix with the rest of the salt, the sugar and pepper.

Save the dill leaves for the sauce.

Cover the flesh side of the fillets with the mixture, and place the fillets flesh-to-flesh in a tray made of glass or stainless steel.

Cover with plastic foil and put a heavy weight on top (e. g. the mortar or a brick).

Keep refrigerated for 72 hours, turning the fillets every 12 hours.

Do not discard the liquid that formsuntil the end of 72 hours. ( A lot of liquid will form)

Scrape off the spices and discard the liquid.

The salmon will keep refrigerated for about a week.

For the sauce, mix mustard, sugar and vinegar.

Add the oil a teaspoon at a time, constantly stirring.

Just before serving, add lots of dill and salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the salmon with a sharp, flexible knife in big, thin slices parallell to the skin.

Arrange the ice-cold salmon on lettuce leaves with slices of lemon.

Serve the sauce separately.

Optional: Also serve toasted bread and butter.

Want to be featured here?

If you make these, take a photograph and email it to me at diaryofafirstchild at gmail dot com and I will add it here. Alternatively leave a link to where you’ve uploaded it!


Just Have to Share – Gravlax – Norwegian Salmon

  1. is it like,… NOT COOKED???
    Looks lovely… but can I chuck it in the oven??? 🙂
    .-= urbanvox´s last blog ..Innocent Adventure =-.

  2. you’re much welcome 🙂
    keeping up the awesome blogging!
    (love this recipe!!!
    (sd for the 2 places thing, i live in south africa so that’s really hard to do, the only border lines we have are into other countries :P)
    .-= cupcake mommie´s last blog ..wordless wednesday #4 =-.

  3. I’ve never been adventurous enough to eat ice cold fish. I need a lesson on cooking salmon too…
    .-= Joey´s last blog ..Mommy, I’m different…. =-.

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