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Inspired by Modern Swedish Cookbook

Gravlax is a classic Nordic recipe with a long history that makes this the quintessential Swedish dish. It most likely has its origins in the Middle Ages, when fishermen preserved salmon by fermenting it in sand. While the ingredients are different, the technique is still similar because you ‘bury’ the salmon in salt and spices to season the fish. Today, gravlax is normally served on a bagel; however, I found this particular recipe to be versatile. It would be great alongside a salad greens, added to deviled eggs or even as a filling for an omelet.



  • 1 whole fresh salmon, with skin on, weighing 2 lb. Cut in half

  • 5 tablespoons coarse salt

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoons peppercorn mixture (black, red and white), crushed a little

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, also crushed a little

  • Fresh dill, about 4 sprigs

Yields: serving for 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 1-2 days for curing

Cook Time: none.


  1. In a small bowl, mix the salt, sugar, peppercorn and fennel seeds. Set aside.

  2. To cure the salmon, drape a baking sheet with plastic wrap.

  3. Place one of the salmon pieces skin side down on the plastic wrap. Rub with half of the salt mixture.

  4. Rub the second piece of salmon with the remaining salt mixture.

  5. Place the two pieces against each other and place the dill in between. Wrap the salmon with the plastic wrap tightly and place in the refrigerator.

  6. Top the salmon with a plate and weight with heavy cans. The salmon can stay in the refrigerator for at lest 24 hours and up to 48 hours (even up to 5 days).

  7. An hour before serving, remove from the refrigerator.

  8. Remove the salmon from the baking sheet, and wipe off any salt and herbs.

  9. Slice the salmon thinly away from the skin and arrange on a platter or a nice cutting boards.

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