Enjoy gravlax as an essential part of the festive Swedish smörgåsbord, such as Christmas, served with a sweet and strong mustard sauce. Although the cured fish mostly is eaten cold, you can enjoy it around the year. You can also serve it with potatoes as a standalone dish.

Ah, the classic combination! Gravlax together with a dollop of hovmästarsås is difficult to resist.

Gravlax — cured salmon with dill

Cured salmon is easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of work. Please do pay attention to the discussion above on safety before you begin.


1 kilo (2 pounds) salmon
1 dl (0,4 cups) sugar
4 tbsp salt—don’t use mineral salt or iodized salt
2 tsp roughly ground white pepper
1 dl (0,4 cups) or one bundle of dill

For serving: extra dill, hovmästarsås (mustard sauce)—see recipe below


  1. If you’ve frozen the fish, let it defrost first.
  2. Cut the salmon into two pieces of similar size. Pat them dry. If you’ve got a salmon side, remove the small greyish area at the lower part of the stomach.
  3. Mix sugar, salt, and white pepper together. Chop the dill finely.
  4. If you’ve got salmon with skin (scales), you can make a few cuts in the salmon skin to make it easier for the curing to become evener.
  5. Place the salmon pieces flesh-side up and rub the top surface with most of the salt mixture. Sprinkle on the dill.
  6. Place one salmon piece on top of the other, placing a thicker side against a thinner. Sprinkle on the rest of the salt mixture.
  7. Place the salmon in a freezer bag (or two) and tie a knot. Put it on a plate or in a container. Now the salmon is ready to be stored in the fridge for 1-3 days, depending on how cured you want it. I tend to go for 2-3 days, but it depends on the thickness of the salmon. Turn the bag 2-3 times per day, so it cures evenly.
  8. When you’re ready to serve, scrape off the dill and pepper and maybe add fresh dill. Cut thin pieces at a slight angle.
  9. The salmon keeps for about a week, provided that you don’t leave it out for long periods of time and store it well.

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