Gravad Lax – Dill Cured Salmon

A traditional Scandinavian dish, this salmon is cured in sugar, salt and dill for two days. It doesn’t taste sweet or salty though, but is similar in taste to cold smoked salmon, with the addition of dill. Try the beetroot cured salmon as a delicious alternative, or make both (the beetroot takes a day longer though) and serve it as a luxureous lunch with dark rye bread.
The white wine is optional, you can make the gravad lax both with and without. With will result in a softer salmon which is less salty, but both are very tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 800-1000gr salmon, skin on
  • 100gr sugar
  • 100gr salt
  • 2 tbs coarse pepper (8gr)
  • 2 tbs white wine (optional)
  • large bunch of dill

Recipe:

Check the salmon for any bones and remove any scales that are on the skin. Cut the salmon in half, so you have two equally sized pieces.
Place one piece of the salmon skin down in a leak-proof container lined with a double or even triple layer of clingfilm. You want the salmon to be in the container quite snugly, so look for a container the same size or a tiny bit smaller than one piece (so half) of the salmon. As you will flip the parcel a few times, a leakproof container helps as you can flip the entire container, preventing the package from tearing.

Combine the sugar, salt and pepper. Spread this over the salmon in the container and rub some into the top of the other piece of salmon too. Place the dill on top, sprinkle the wine over it if using, then cover with the other piece of salmon, upside down. The flesh will be touching with the dill inbetween.
Fold the clingfilm tightly over the salmon and cover the container with a lid.

Leave for 2 days in the fridge, turning every 12 hours.
After 2 days, remove the dill and the pickling mixture from the salmon. The salmon will be somewhat firm to the touch. Don’t worry, that is normal and it is only the outside, the inside will still be soft.

Place the salmon on a cutting board, skin side down. Place fresh dill on top of the salmon and cut the salmon in thin slices off the skin.
Place on a plate and serve with horseradish sauce, pickled cucumber and dark rye bread.

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