Gravadlax, Salt And Sugar Cured Salmon

We have a very dear friend who is from Sweden – every year he hosts a party and one of the starters is always cured salmon. He orders a whole Norwegian salmon from Seafood On Sail and prepares it. As he tells it, gravad means grave and lax is salmon. The salmon would traditionally be covered with salt and buried in the ground, underneath the snow until cured. We however, don’t have snow low enough, or often enough for that method! But, this recipe for Gravadlax is perfect and easy to do.

Gravadlax | Cured Salmon
Gravadlax | Cured Salmon
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Gravadlax – Cured Salmon


  • 1.5 kg salmon fillet - skin on
  • 20 mls Vodka
  • 15 mls fresh dill chopped
  • zest of 1 lime
  • coarse salt
  • cure mixture:
  • 170 g coarse salt
  • 170 g sugar I used fructose
  • 15 mls white pepper
  • 40 mls fresh dill chopped
  • zest of 1/2 lemon


  • 45 mls wholegrain mustard
  • 15 mls sugar I used fructose
  • pinch of salt
  • 15 mls red wine vinegar
  • 45 mls fresh dill chopped
  • 50 mls olive oil


  • remove the pin bones from the salmon
  • line a large container with rock salt
  • combine the cure mixture and sprinkle half of this over the salt
  • brush the salmon with the vodka
  • lay it on top of the salt, skin side down
  • spread the remaining cure mixture evenly over the salmon - if you have the tail section of the salmon do not put too much on the tail otherwise it will be over cured
  • cover the top with cling film and use tins to weigh the fish down
  • refrigerate for 2 days
  • rinse the curing mixture off the salmon and pat dry
  • sprinkle with 15mls dill and lime zest, press in lightly and refrigerate until needed
  • make the sauce by whisking together the mustard, sugar, salt and vinegar
  • add the dill and the oil
  • to serve:
  • cut the salmon as thinly as possible, diagonally towards the tail
  • serve with the dill sauce on fresh rye bread or with boiled potatoes


replace the oil with mayonnaise

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

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