Norwegian Salmon Gravlax with Dill Mustard Sauce

by Marla on December 17, 2011 · 47 comments

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Homemade gravlax recipe with Marine Harvest salmon from Norway

There are a few very wonderful things about my job as a food and lifestyle blogger. Not only do I get to develop amazing healthy recipes that fuel us with sustainable energy. I also get to take pretty pictures of it.

Another bonus? I get connected with food adventurers and connoisseurs around the globe. Recently I was contacted by the folks at salmon from Norway. If you have been visiting here for a while you would know that salmon is my all time favorite lean protein. When 7 pounds of the freshest Norwegian Salmon arrived at our door life became even more *blissful*

So what’s a girl to do with all of this gorgeous pink fleshed fish. Make gravlax!

Homemade gravlax recipe with Marine Harvest salmon from Norway

Well really the first thing I did was quickly sauté some for lunch. I knew it was going to take a few days for this recipe to cure & I needed to try this fish immediately. My mother in law happened to be staying with us so she got to enjoy some for lunch as well. I like to treat my house guests right…

After the lunch feast, I prepared gravlax.

Homemade gravlax recipe with Marine Harvest salmon from Norway with rice crackers

Growing up in NY we always enjoyed smoked salmon on toasted bagels with loads of cream cheese. The traditional gravlax recipe did not call for that smoky flavor. In order to achieve that I pulled out my favorite smoked paprika. This added the perfect amount of smokiness.

Homemade gravlax recipe with Marine Harvest salmon from Norway with rice crackers

Since I am not into refined white sugar I used organic sucanat instead to delicately balance the sea salt and dill in the brine.

Sucanat means “sugar cane natural.” The salmon is supposed to cure in the fridge from 3-4 days. I let ours cure for 5.

The flavor was among the best I have ever had and the texture is creamy & melts in your mouth.

Homemade gravlax recipe with Marine Harvest salmon from Norway

Admittedly, I was a bit concerned to take such beautiful filets to make a new recipe when I was unsure what the outcome was going to be. I used 2 pounds of Norwegian salmon for my experiment. Not only is homemade gravlax one of the simplest recipes to prepare but it is among the best ways to preserve the true flavors of the fish.

You need to use the freshest, center-cut, not previously frozen fish you can find. In this case my shipment was thankfully the perfect delivery to make this recipe.

Dill mustard dipping sauce for homemade gravlax recipe

I served our gravlax with gluten free rice crackers and cream cheese. Also with a side of Dijon mustard dip. The dip has a touch of sweetness that balances the fish perfectly.

Gluten free rice crackers from Trader Joe's

These days you can find gluten free crackers just about everywhere. These are some of our favorites from Trader Joe’s. They have a great snap and crunch!

Homemade gravlax recipe with Marine Harvest salmon from Norway with rice crackers

No Norwegian lunch would be complete without one of Norway’s most distinctive dishes, gravlax. The name literally means “Grave-Salmon” and refers to the medieval practice of curing the raw fish by burying it in the sand above the high tide level…

Since most of us don’t live on the beach, curing in your refrigerator is the next best option!

Norwegian Salmon Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 72 hours

Yield: 10 servings of salmon 6 servings of sauce

Norwegian Salmon Gravlax with Mustard Sauce

Ingredients

    Gravlax Salmon
  • 1 approximately 2 pound Salmon fillet, skin on
  • 3 tablespoons Sea Salt
  • 2 tablespoons organic Sucanat
  • 1 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground Black Pepper
  • 1 bunch Dill, coarsely chopped
  • Dill Mustard Sauce
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) Dijon Mustard
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) Olive Oil
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) light Sour Cream
  • 1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
  • dash of cracked Black Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Dill
  • Maple Syrup, Honey or Stevia to taste

Method

    Gravlax Salmon
  • Trim salmon fillets. Scrape the skin well and remove all bones (if any).
  • Blend salt, sucanat, smoked paprika and pepper. Sprinkle half of the salt mixture in the bottom of a roasting pan, then sprinkle half of the dill over and place the fillet in the pan skin side down.
  • Press the remaining salt mixture and dill on the flesh side of the fillet, using light pressure.
  • Put fish in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for 3-4 days. Turn it every day. Scrape seasoning and dill from the fillets before serving.
  • Dill Mustard Sauce
  • Whisk together all ingredients adding dill and then the sweetener last. Taste and adjust seasonings according to preference.
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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jenjenk December 17, 2011 at 7:23 am

mmmm…i love gravlax!! I’ve always wanted to make it but have always been intimidated by it!! This actually looks easy to try!!! thanks for sharing your recipe!! :)

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2 Lori @ RecipeGirl December 17, 2011 at 7:24 am

Great job girl! Looks wonderful!

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3 Marla December 17, 2011 at 8:05 am

Thanks Lori! Great to be on “team salmon” with you. Happy to see you had such great results with your gravlax too!

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4 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 17, 2011 at 7:40 am

“The salmon is supposed to cure in the fridge from 3-4 days. I let ours cure for 5. ” — That’s great but did everything just reek of salmon for that nearly week?! Lol. I know when I make things like this it just stinks up the fridge and then every time you open it, it’s like a huge PUFF of scent that lingers over the kitchen. Not a bad thing if you salmon but ya know.

Seriously though, this is the prettiest, most beautiful salmon post…ever. Marla, you should be so proud of your photography!!! And of your recipe development.

Scott, being Jewish, would love love love for me to cure salmon at home. And while I’m at it I could churn my own butter and make cream cheese. But sigh….hasn’t happened…yet :) I could inhale!! that dill mustard dip you made though. Wow.

And those TJs crackers…why havent I tried those. Must pick up!

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5 Marla December 17, 2011 at 8:04 am

Averie, that is an excellent question and I am sure many folks will have the same one. Here is the GREAT news…the salmon did not smell up the fridge at all. Not one bit. That said, I just added to the post that mine was wrapped tightly in plastic wrap during the curing process. It was not until I sliced into it & stored it for a few days in containers that I started to smell it. By that time it is all sealed & tucked away anyways! I even stored some portions in the freezer (I had soooo much) I hear it freezes really well. We shall see. I think Scott would agree that this is one of the most enjoyable recipes for cured salmon! Let me know if try it!
Trust me on this…I was freaked to try doing this at home. Now I know how simple it really is & safe too. I was worried about the raw fish thing.
xo

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6 Grace@ FoodFitnessFreshair December 17, 2011 at 7:45 am

I would absolutely love a shipment of salmon to my door! Beautiful. And very ambitious of you to make gravlax. The gravlax with mustard dill sounds like one of my dream app./lunch items.

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7 HeatherChristo December 17, 2011 at 9:14 am

I am thrilled that you posted this recipe. We have so much Salmon in my part of the country (PNW) and I have not made this in yeeeeeaaars!

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8 Rosa December 17, 2011 at 9:18 am

Yummy! that is something I really love and always make for the New Year. Your Gravlax and mustard sauce look amazing.

Cheers,

Rosa

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9 Marina {YummyMummyKitchen.com} December 17, 2011 at 9:23 am

Awesome post, Marla! How fun. I make a lot of salmon, but have never made gravlax before. Will add to my to-make list. Love the salmon against the aqua fabric – gorgeous.

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10 susan December 17, 2011 at 9:53 am

Alaska and Israel are at the top of my bucket list! Lucky you for getting a beautiful piece of salmon such as this.

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11 Angie December 17, 2011 at 11:14 am

What’s a girl to do with all that salmon you ask! I’ll tell you invite your friend over ….. Me! We love salmon!!!! Beautiful photos Marla. Looking forward to another year of family fresh cooking! Merry Christmas! You’re the bomb!

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12 Bonnie K December 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing the history of the Norwegian salmon and how to prepare gravlax. I’m a big fan of salmon.

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13 Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts December 17, 2011 at 12:43 pm

This looks amazing. I am not a seafood lover, but this looks truly mouthwatering!

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14 Marla December 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Erin, this salmon could make you love seafood. Really :)

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15 Alyssa @ Everyday Maven December 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm

So Beautiful! We are planning on having a smoked salmon feast for Christmas Dinner and I have been debating on buying vs. curing. I have always been intimidated by the process but you really made it seem easy! Very exciting – Thanks :)

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16 Marla December 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Alyssa, you totally need to try making gravlax on your own. The flavor is even better than store bought- perhaps that has something to do with the fact that you can take pride in the process :)

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17 Alyssa @ Everyday Maven December 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm

You have inspired me to do it! and since I am lucky enough to live in the PNW I will get the freshest Wild Salmon I can! :)

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18 Marla December 18, 2011 at 5:42 pm

Alyssa, oh yes you do! I would love to go salmon fishing there. We honeymooned in Whistler a decade ago and truly that is all I ate!

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19 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] December 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I love salmon. If salmon arrived at my door step I would be a happy camper er, um…eater! Great post. I am such a firm believer in where our food comes from. Great pics too!

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20 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers December 18, 2011 at 4:19 am

What a beautiful appetizer. The dill mustard sauce sounds amazing, I would love the sauce for dipping my cucumbers in.

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21 Jeanette December 18, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I love homemade gravlax, so easy to make and perfect for entertaining during the holidays – I would serve this for brunch to house guests. Beautiful pics!

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22 Lucy December 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Marla – I can’t eat gravalax after an ex boyfriend ate so much of it it put me off for life – something about the dill and the smell – that said I LOVE fresh grilled salmon and smoked salmon…

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23 Marla December 18, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Lucy, that is unfortunate & I always love your honesty. Thankfully you still have a passion for salmon. If not then we would need to sit down for a long talk ;)

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24 MikeVFMK December 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Yay, Marla. Love this. Of course they contacted you..who else would they touch base with. By the way, these photos are beautiful. I think my favourite yet. And love the recipe.

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25 Marla December 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Mike…your favorite yet? Wow! Now I know I am on the right track because I am so in love with your photography. Your critical eye means a great deal to me. These photos are a bit more simple & clean compared to a lot of my other ones. Perhaps something I will focus on a bit more…

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26 Asmita December 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm

This is so fancy. Love that. Beautiful clicks.

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27 Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth December 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm

I cannot wait to make this dill mustard sauce! What an easy and elegant appetizer!

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28 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com December 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm

I’ve never had gravlax before, but I want to dive into that deliciousness :D

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29 Marla December 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Kiran, you must try it. One of the best things I have ever had!

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30 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. December 19, 2011 at 5:22 am

looks great! I love smoked salmon!

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31 Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} December 19, 2011 at 6:37 am

I was thinking making gravlax is so sophisticated it wouldn’t justify my time to even look online and see how it’s actually made. Thanks for breaking that myth Marla. Yours looks perfect for a cheesy bagel in the morning!

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32 Nikkie December 19, 2011 at 7:55 am

I’ve wanted to try doing this for a long time but the process seemed daunting. I’m surprised to read how easy it is. One question – what if we can’t find *organic Sucanat*? Is there a substitute?

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33 Marla December 19, 2011 at 8:10 am

Nikkie, feel free to use any sugar. Brown sugar, white sugar or even maple syrup would be great. You can stick with the 1 tablespoon quantity. Let me know how it turns out if you try :)

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34 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective December 19, 2011 at 8:00 am

I adore salmon and the dill mustard sauce sounds divine!

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35 Lynda December 19, 2011 at 8:20 am

Excellent post! I too adore salmon and pine for all things nordic. Thank you for the link. Your gravlax looks fabulous.

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36 Marla December 19, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Lynda…Nordic lands. I crave them and hope to visit there some day!

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37 Clair December 19, 2011 at 10:48 am

Now I want some salmon really badly! ;-)

And love all the discussion of Norway. It’s a life dream to go there someday…even better…to live there!

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38 Kristina Vanni December 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

Norway is one of the most beautiful countries! Their salmon is out of this world!

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39 Georgia Pellegrini December 19, 2011 at 5:18 pm

1. I LOVE Norway. I’ve been there and eaten their fish and it is spectacular.
2. I LOVE your recipes here and this mustard sauce! I’m a fan of making home cured salmon and will definitely make this sauce too next time.
3. They need to bring you to Norway next since you’re so great with the snow! We want your photos from the salmon front!
4. xox

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40 Joanne December 20, 2011 at 3:56 am

Gravlax and smoked salmon are two of the loves of my life! That sauce sounds just perfect for them!

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41 aida mollenkamp December 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I love making homemade gravlax — thanks for sharing this, Marla!

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42 Leslie January 2, 2012 at 8:09 am

Your post is beautiful!!! I was sooo thrilled when the salmon arrived at my house! That would be so awesome if we got to travel to Norway!!!!

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43 Marla January 2, 2012 at 10:41 am

Leslie…a trip to Norway with the pals would be more than blissful! I am so happy to hear you got this salmon too. Need to check out your post :)

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44 N January 16, 2012 at 12:25 pm

How much maple syrup or honey would you advise us to use for the mustard sauce?

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45 Frollo December 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Hello there.

Your salmon looks delicious.

But if you ever make it again, my suggestion is that you use white pepper instead of black. You can either use them whole or just slightly crushed. The white pepper flavor goes so well with graved salmon.
Though I must say, I have never tried black pepepr for graving, it could be interesting. I have actually never even heard of the black-pepper version.

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46 Arnstein Bjone December 24, 2013 at 1:08 am

Nice article and photos!
Marine Harvest you should send you 100 Lbs more salmon :-) With a turnover of 2 billion USD, I’m sure they can afford it…

I have my own blog, with many various topics, mostly in Norwegian.
This article about gravlax also have an English translation:
http://arnstein.bjone.no/#post58
Maybe you you find some useful tip there too.

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47 Tushar January 16, 2014 at 8:26 am

I love this recipe. We made something similar and made it with Beetroot. Very delicious and the colour is incredible:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCwZMobRfxg

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