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Norwegian Salmon Gravlax

One of Norway's distinctive dishes, Gravlax literally means "Grave Salmon, " and it refers to the medieval practice of curing the raw fish by burying it in the sand above the high tide level. Today it's dry-cured and traditionally eaten on open-faced sandwiches or wit h stewed potatoes. It's traditionally served with a sauce (recipe included here). Please see the tips below to see how I served it up appetizer-style.


  1. One 2-pound salmon fillet, skin-on
  2. 3 tablespoons salt
  3. 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  4. 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  5. 1 bunch fresh dill, chopped

  1. 4 large egg yolks
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/2 cup vegetable oil or mild olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  6. 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  7. 1 tablespoon mustard
  8. 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped dill


  1. Prepare the salmon: Trim the salmon fillets. Scrape the skin well and remove all bones with needle-nose pliers.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the salt, sugar and pepper. Sprinkle half of the salt mixture in the bottom of a 9x12-inch glass pan, then sprinkle on half of the dill. Place the salmon fillet skin-side-down in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining salt mixture and dill on top and press it lightly into the salmon. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for three to four days. Turn the salmon over every day.
  3. On the third or fourth day, rinse the salmon under cold water. Move to a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut very thin slices.
  4. Prepare the sauce: In a medium bowl, stir egg yolks with the salt until it reaches a thick consistency. Slowly pour in the oil while whisking quickly until the sauce is a consistency similar to mayonnaise (you may need to use a blender or an immersion blender to help this process along). Stir the sugar, vinegar, pepper and mustard into the sauce. Just before serving, add the dill. Serve the salmon with the gravlax sauce, stewed potatoes or bread and salad.

Cooking Notes

*If you'd prefer to serve the gravlax as an appetizer (as shown), just toast up some thinly sliced baguette, place a piece of the cured salmon on top and garnish with a small dollop of creme fraiche, capers and dill.

*Make- ahead tip: The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

*If you are preparing this recipe as a gluten free appetizer, please use a gluten-free alternative to the baguette (rice crackers, etc).

Serving Notes

Yield: 8 servings as main dish, 20 servings as appetizer

Prep Time: 45 min + curing time