Gravlax (Fresh Salmon Marinated in Dill)

"This traditional Scandinavian recipe often appears on Christmas Eve smorgasbords. You can easily halve the recipe to serve a small gathering, too. Buy one fillet and cut it in half cross-wise or select 2 equal-size pieces of center-cut fillet weighing 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total. 12. Use previously frozen salmon or freeze fish at 0 degrees for 48 hours to kill any parasites that may be present."
photo by threeovens photo by threeovens
photo by threeovens
Ready In:
96hrs 30mins
72 slices




  • For the sauce, mix the mustard, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.
  • Gradually whisk in the oil.
  • Stir in the dill.
  • Refrigerate, tightly covered, up to three days.
  • Whisk again before using.
  • Serve slightly chilled.
  • Run your fingers down the flesh side of each fillet to locate the small pin bones and remove them with tweezers or needle-nose pliers.
  • Wipe the flesh with a damp paper towel.
  • Combine the salt, sugar and peppercorns in a small bowl.
  • Rub the mixture onto the flesh side of both fillets.
  • Sprinkle the dill evenly over 1 fillet and lay the other fillet flesh-side down on top, placing the thin end of one over the thick end of the other.
  • Place the salmon in a large plastic bag, press out the air and seal tightly.
  • Put the salmon on a platter and lay a cutting board or baking sheet on top and weight it down with three 1- to 2-pound cans of food.
  • Refrigerate 36 to 48 hours, turning the bag of fillets over every 12 hours.
  • Lift fillets from the bag and discard the bag and accumulated liquid.
  • Scrape the seasonings off the fish and pat dry. (Fillets can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator up to 10 days before serving -- see note below.)
  • Place one fillet, skin side down, on a large serving platter (with head end to the left for right-handed people).
  • Hold the knife blade tilted so you'll be slicing down through the fillet at a 45-degree angle (rather than straight up and down).
  • Begin slicing at the head end, making a 1/8-inch-thick slice.
  • At the bottom of slice, turn the knife blade gently to separate the slice from the skin.
  • Using the knife, turn the slice over to the left as if turning the page of a book.
  • Continue cutting 1/8-inch slices on the angle, separating each from the skin and turning each slice over to partially overlap the previous one.
  • Repeat with remaining fillet.
  • Garnish with fresh dill and serve with Mustard Dill Sauce and rye or dark bread.
  • NOTE: You can keep gravlax in the refrigerator up to 10 days after curing, serving it anytime withing that span. Wrap sliced or unsliced gravlax in plastic and store in the coldest part of your refrigerator.

Questions & Replies

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  1. threeovens
    I was a little nervous about making something like this since I had never done so before. But I needn't have worried. It came out great! Much fresher than store-bought. I loved the sweetness of the mustard sauce with the marinated fish. I was lucky to find wild-caught salmon on sale, since it is such a beautiful color.
  2. rosslare
    Fantastic all time favorite! A true Scandinavian recipe which is present at every celebration in Finland, Sweden, Norway. So easy to prepare and such huge success every time.


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