I learned how to make this wonderful appetizer from Swedish friends of ours Borje and Carrol Ekberg.  I remember having this at their house for dinner, paired with boiled potatoes and of coure the dill mustard sauce.  I have seen a guest at a Julia Child cooking show make this with tequila. Some add vodka. Even Borje told me he adds acquavit sometimes. I have tried them all and depending on what alcohol you add, the fish will get either too cooked or just a little off on the taste scale.  At the end of the day, my husband loves the simple recipe, slathered with home made gravlaxsas–homemade dill mustard sauce.


  • 1 salmon fillet (with or without skin) approximately 500 grams
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 2 tsp ground white pepper
  • a bunch of fresh dill weed
  • plastic or saran wrap for wrapping


  1. Clean salmon fillet and wipe dry with paper towel. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, salt and pepper.
  3. Cover salmon with mixture.
  4. Place bunch of dill weed (no need to cut or break) on top then fold salmon in half, covering the dill weed.
  5. Wrap in saran wrap or plastic and place in plastic bag (just to make sure it does not drip on your refrigerator shelf.
  6. Leave in refrigerator for at least 3 days to cure.



To slice:

After 3 or so days, take cured salmon out and wash off remaining mixture and dill weed.  Slice and serve.


Notes: The above curing mix is perfect for a 500-gram salmon fillet. It can easily be doubled if you want to cure several huge pieces of fillet. Once cured, they freeze very well whole or sliced.  I have seen some recipes with equal amounts of salt and sugar. I find that they tend to be very salty so I adjusted this one to have more sugar than salt.  It works fine for us. So you can do a 1:1 ratio if you want it a little salty.

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» Tita Olive said: { Jan 21, 2009 - 07:01 }

Ang sarrrrap nyan!

» katy said: { Jan 21, 2009 - 11:01 }

looks amazing — do you have to start with sushi-grade salmon, or does the curing process take care of that?

» virtual chef said: { Jan 21, 2009 - 12:01 }

you don’t need to get the sushi grade salmon. in fact, i often use salmon i buy from Costco or my local grocery store. the curing process will do the job. let me know how it turns out for you when you make it.

» Tangled Noodle said: { Jan 22, 2009 - 09:01 }

Katy’s question was mine, too! I’d love to make this but was worried about getting very fresh salmon. Now that I know you get yours at Costco, I’m all set!

» virtual chef said: { Jan 24, 2009 - 09:01 }

Let me know how it goes.

» virtual chef said: { Jan 24, 2009 - 10:01 }

Dali…gawa ka na. Then post it.

» Jude said: { Jan 27, 2009 - 10:01 }

Nice. I kind of feel like having some on a bagel or something.

» virtual chef said: { Jan 29, 2009 - 09:01 }

it actually is wonderful with boiled baby potatoes and dill with a cucumber dill salad on the side. yum!

» Tan said: { Feb 6, 2009 - 01:02 }

Always favorite with Salmon appetizer a little salt, pepper and lime with side salad…humm..yum..yum..;)
Thank you for the add.:)

» Christian said: { Feb 17, 2011 - 05:02 }

While it is clearly best for salmon, it also works with trout for a very similar effect. I wrap it in aluminum foil and not plastic, but that doesn’t make a difference.

I either have it on bread with mustard sauce, or more usually a mustard you can buy in any shop here in Norway at least, called “Idun Grov Sennep” and means crude mustard, which is both sweet and spicy in a way I really enjoy, and also containing whole mustard seeds. (picture here:

Another good way to serve it is as part of a smorgasbord / tapas arrangement, with scrambled eggs.

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