Festive Swedish recipe for dill marinated salmon - gravad lax - Real Dishes (2024)

Festive Swedish recipe for dill marinated salmon - gravad lax - Real Dishes (1)

This salmon is not smoked, but marinated in a mixture of salt, sugar, pepper and fresh dill. The salmon is then stored in the refrigerator for one or two days and then you have delicious homemade gravad lax. Gravad Lax means something like buried salmon in Swedish. In the Middle Ages, salmon was salted and buried with some heavy stones on top. This way the salmon could be stored longer.

Gravad lax Swedish food

When I see this gravad lax, I think of a glass of bubbly to go with it. I see it as a festive snack, which you serve with some melba toast or baguette. That's all I need anymore. In Norway they simply eat gravad lax on bread. There you often see gravad lax on an open sandwich (not between two sandwiches). Swedes like to eat their gravad lax with a sweet mustard-honey sauce.

In Sweden, gravad lax is a permanent part of a smörgåsbord, a traditional festive buffet full of Swedish delicacies. For example, a smörgåsbord is often made at Easter and Christmas. At Christmas it's just not called a smörgåsbord but a Julbord. Some time ago I was able to enjoy a Swedish Julbord.

That will look like this:

Festive Swedish recipe for dill marinated salmon - gravad lax - Real Dishes (2)

A selection of the dishes on the table here:filled eggs(recipe is already online), elk sausage, gravad lax, Swedish cheeses, Christmas ham, Swedish meatballs (recipe to follow), the Swedish version of potato gratin. Furthermore, many different salads and many different types of pickled herring.

A Swedish family quietly eats from such a Julbord for 3 days. What you see in the photo are the 'leftovers'. 🙂

The tastiest gravad lax

Back to the Gravad Lax. How do you make the tastiest gravad lax? It starts with the salmon. Get a nice piece of cracking fresh salmon fillet from your fishmonger. Ask for sashimi quality. Leave the skin in place (on 1 side). Then the dill. Dill is a fragile herb. Check carefully whether the dill looks fresh green and the blades are not drooping. You also need coarse sea salt, white pepper and granulated sugar and you can get started.

Because I already like the gravad lax so much, I didn't bother to make a honey-mustard sauce with it. I secretly think it would be a shame for the salmon to put this over it.

The most important thing you need, besides salmon, is time. Please note that you need to wait at least 24 hours for the marinade to be properly absorbed into the salmon. 24 hours is really good. 48 hours even better. But usually I can't wait that long. Some even marinate the salmon for up to 3 days.

You can also make this recipe with 300-350 grams of salmon, then halve the amount of sea salt, sugar, white pepper and dill.
I use a mortar in this recipe. If you don't have a mortar, use fine sea salt and just stir the ingredients together.
What you really need to have at home is plastic cling film.


700 grams fresh salmon fillet, with skin, sashimi quality
150 grams of coarse sea salt
100 grams of sugar
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups of dill of 20 grams each (40 grams in total)


Wash the dill. Save a few sprigs and remove all the dill sprigs from the rest of the sprigs. If you occasionally come across a wilted blade, throw it away.
You also throw away the twigs. Chop the dill sprigs finely.

Mix the salt, sugar and white pepper thoroughly in a mortar.

Now add the dill and grind it in as well.

Grab a bowl that fits the salmon fillet (it doesn't have to be much larger than the salmon itself).

Line the dish generously with plastic wrap. Make sure there is enough hanging over the edges to wrap the salmon properly.

Now first place half of the dry marinade on the foil. Place the salmon fillet on top, with the skin side at the bottom.
Press gently.

Now put the second half of the marinade on the salmon. Make sure that the entire salmon fillet is now covered, including the sides of the fillet. Press the marinade gently but firmly.

Now wrap the salmon with the plastic wrap. Try to do this as tightly as possible.

Then place the bowl with salmon in the refrigerator and place something heavy on the wrapped salmon.
Think of a six-pack of cans of beer or 2 cartons of milk.

Wait at least 24 hours and remove the salmon fillet from the refrigerator (put the beer or milk back 😉 ).

Drain the fat and carefully remove the salmon from the foil. Scrape the marinade from the salmon with the blunt side of a large knife.

Place the salmon on a nice plate with the skin on the bottom.
Garnish with a few sprigs of dill.
Add a sharp large knife and some melba toast.

Let people cut slices themselves. You don't eat the skin.

Enjoy your meal!

Love salmon? Then check out these recipes

Hawaiian Poke bowl with salmon
Quick sushi from a bowl
Casserole egg phrase
Pasta pesto with zucchini and salmon

Fancy more Swedish food?

Then make this onefilled eggs.


Festive Swedish recipe for dill marinated salmon - gravad lax - Real Dishes (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tyson Zemlak

Last Updated:

Views: 5631

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tyson Zemlak

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Apt. 662 96191 Quigley Dam, Kubview, MA 42013

Phone: +441678032891

Job: Community-Services Orchestrator

Hobby: Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Metalworking, Fashion, Vehicle restoration, Shopping, Photography

Introduction: My name is Tyson Zemlak, I am a excited, light, sparkling, super, open, fair, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.