Gravlax (Marinated Salmon)


Marinated Salmon

I used to be a “road warrior”, one of those people who spends more time on a plane than on the ground. Someone who is often away from home and working in foreign lands. I worked in an international company for the last twenty-five years and enjoyed most of it. That period is now at an end and I am enjoying this period of non-travel. A good friend, who has never really travelled, once marvelled at how I could cope waking up in so many different beds, waking up and having to wonder just where I was!

Of course one hotel is very much like another. All airports are pretty much the same and all planes are small, cramped and noisy. The one really big positive from all this travel is being able to see so many different cultures and meet some really interesting people. It is the only aspect I miss, now that I am no longer a regular traveller.

The last few days have had me reflecting on my time working in Sweden. It is the dill weed (Anethum graveolens)season here in Spain and one of my favourite Swedish recipes uses dill……

Although I have visited Sweden often for short trips,  I also spent two extended periods in the country. The first was whilst working with Saab Automobile in Trollhättan and the second with SKF (Svenska Kullagerfabriken AB) in Göteborg. They say that “money makes the world go around” but after working with SKF I can tell you it is not money but ball bearings!

Trollhattan Church


I met some great people and had some great food. I was in Trollhättan in winter and can still remember the ice breaker ships going up the canal behind the Swania hotel where I stayed. People from Saab even lent me a bicycle so I could get out and sea a little of the town and surroundings, snow and all.

I was lucky enough to be in Göteborg in summer. Sweden and, dare I say the people, are completely different in summer. With warm, very long days the whole place comes alive with almost a party atmosphere. I used to catch the tram out to Långedrag and wander around the islands before having an excellent meal in the marina. I highly recommend it if you are ever out that way.

2003 07 Göteborg Långedrag Marina


So, on to this week’s recipe, one that I was given whilst out in Trollhättan, gravlax. This is marinated salmon in which the principle flavouring is dill weed. I tend to make the recipe at this time of year as the dill is just starting to grow in the hedgerows here and I can get plenty of the fresh new leaves.  The recipe uses quite a lot of salt and sugar in the marinade. It works, trust me…… just follow the recipe and you will not be disappointed! 


Gravlax (Marinated Salmon)

Serves 6.

Ingredients Marinade:

1 Kg Salmon

2 tbsp White peppercorns

50ml Salt

50ml Sugar


Ingredients Mustard Sauce:

3 tbsp Mustard

1 tbsp Sugar

1 tbsp Vinegar

1/4 tsp Salt

1/8 tsp White pepper

150ml Vegetable oil

2 tbsp Dill


Cut the salmon into two fillets then dry with a paper towel.


Sugar, Salt and Pepper

Roughly grind the peppercorns in a mortar with the salt and sugar.


Ground Salt, Sugar and Pepper

Finely chop the dill. I tend to use quite a lot, enough to cover the fish well.



Choose a glass dish, preferably with a lid, just big enough to hold one of the fillets.

Sprinkle a third of the salt mix and a third of the dill into the bottom of the dish. Place one of the fillets, skin side down, on top of the mixture.


Salmon with Salt, Sugar, Spices and Dill

Sprinkle half of the rest of the salt and dill on top of this first fillet. 

Place the second fillet on top, meat side down, but in such a way that the thick end of this second fillet is on top of the thinner end of the first fillet. In this way the two fillets form an even sandwich.


Marinating Salmon “Sandwich”

Sprinkle the rest of the salt and dill onto the skin of this second fillet.

Cover the glass dish and leave for 48 hours in the fridge turning the fillets over occasionally.

To make the sauce:

Put the mustard, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper into a blender. With the machine running slowly drizzle in the oil until a thick sauce forms.  Pour the sauce into a serving bowl.

Chop the dill and stir into the sauce.


Senap (Mustard) Sauce

Serve, thinly sliced, on freshly toasted bread. Put a good layer of sauce followed by the salmon.

Salmon on Toast

Salmon on Toast

So another article complete, I hope you have enjoyed it. I know I have some Swedish readers so your comments would be especially welcome. Did I get it right, can you offer any tweaks to make it even better? Just use the comments field and let me know what you think.


tsp – Teaspoon – 5ml

tbsp – Tablespoon – 15ml

2016 Lincoln W. Betteridge


One thought on “Gravlax (Marinated Salmon)

  1. Pingback: Gravlax (Marinated Salmon) | Other Man's Flavours

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