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Gravlax with Spicy Mustard Sauce Recipe-12351

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


This Swedish dish takes two days to make, but according to Dave it’s well worth the effort. The Vikings in the eighth century are credited with developing gravlax as a way of preserving fish when they were out marauding, pillaging, and raiding. The name comes from the words grav, “grave,” and laxs, “salmon,” since the fish was often buried in the cold ground to preserve it. The traditional way to serve gravlax is to slice it as thinly as possible, place on black bread or toasted rye bread, and serve with a little mustard sauce spread over the top.

Yield: 12 or more servings


  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 small bunches dill, coarsely chopped
  • ½ bunch chervil, chopped
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 bunch lemon balm, chopped
  • 2 salmon fillets, about 1½ pounds each

Mustard Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper mustard, store-bought or homemade
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon gin or aquavit (optional)


Combine the sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl to make the sugar mixture.

In another bowl, combine the dill, chervil, parsley, and lemon balm to make the herb mixture.

In a third bowl combine all the ingredients for the mustard sauce and stir to mix. Cover the bowl and refrigerate.

Place 1 salmon fillet skin side down in a shallow bowl. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the fillet, then half of the herb mixture, the rest of the sugar mixture, and the rest of the herb mixture. Place the second fillet on top of the first, flesh to flesh, and wrap with plastic wrap.

Place the wrapped fillets in a shallow pan and weigh them down with something heavy, like a cast iron skillet filled with a couple of bricks. Refrigerate for 24 hours, then flip the fillets, weigh them down, and refrigerate for another 24 hours.

Thinly slice the salmon; serve with rye or black bread and the mustard sauce.




This recipe requires advance preparation.

© 2005 Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information is based on 12 servings and does not include cracked black pepper mustard. For nutritional information on cracked black pepper mustard, please follow the link above.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

285kcal (14%)
13mg (1%)
4mg (7%)
0mcg RAE (0%)
62mg (21%)
1104mg (46%)
4g (18%)
19g (29%)
0mg (2%)

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