Salmon Gravlax

Salmon Gravlax

Gravlax is a Nordic dish of raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar, and dill, usually served as an appetiser or canapé in the U.K, sliced thinly and accompanied by ‘hovmästarsås’, a dill and mustard sauce, either on bread or traditionally with boiled potatoes.

Back in the Middle Ages, gravlax was made by fishermen, they salted the salmon and lightly fermented it by burying it in the sand above the high-tide line. Luckily for us, we no longer have to bury our fish in the sand to sample this wonderfully fresh summer snack.

The word gravlax comes from the Scandinavian word gräva/grave and lax/laks, “salmon”. Fermentation is no longer used in producing this dish. Instead the salmon is “buried” in a dry marinade of salt, sugar, and dill, and cured for a minimum of 2-hours, but can be left curing anywhere up to 48 hours. As the salmon cures, by the action of osmosis, the moisture turns the dry cure into a concentrated brine. This same method of curing can be employed for any fatty fish, but salmon is the most commonly used. Gravlax can be cured with salt, dil and also beetroot which gives it a beautiful intense red colouring.

So with all this glorious sizzling sunshine, we thought this would be a mightily fine dish to serve up in the garden this weekend, accompanied with a glass of fizz, sweet bliss! Check out our latest cookery video and the recipe below.


This dish is served best with friends, in glorious sizzling sunshine, accompanied with a glass of fizz, sweet bliss! Check out our latest cookery video and the recipe below.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Scandinavian
Keyword fish, nordic, salmon, scandi
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating 2 hours
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 1486 kcal
Author Messa Ben


For the salmon:

  • 500 g half-side of Salmon
  • 2 tbsp mixed whole peppercorns
  • 75 g white sugar
  • 100 g rock salt
  • 1 lg bunch dill - save a tbsp worth for garnish

For the mustard sauce:

  • 2 tsp creamed horseradish
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp finely diced onion
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 175 ml double cream



  1. Into a pestle and mortar add and crush the mixed peppercorns, white sugar, rock salt and dill together
  2. Cut a square of cling film, large enough to wrap your salmon well. Place the salmon, skin side down onto the cling film. Put all of the dill rub onto the flesh of the salmon, evenly distributed, press down and wrap the fish
  3. Leave the fish in the fridge for a minimum of 2 days up to 48 hours
  4. For the dressing whisk the dijon mustard, creamed horseradish, sugar, salt, white wine vinegar and onion together
  5. In a separate bowl whisk the double cream until it’s the consistency of a mayonnaise
  6. Fold the cream into the mustard mix
  7. Remove the cling film from the salmon and working from the tail end, cut thin slices on a diagonal angle
  8. Place the thinly sliced salmon onto slices of traditional baguette or rye bread, top with the mustard sauce and sprinkle with dill. Sit back in the sun and serve with bubbles!

Recipe Video


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