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Swedish gravlax is a traditional Scandinavian dish known for its unique preparation and exquisite flavor. The distinctive taste of the dish comes from curing the salmon in sugar, salt, dill, and other seasonings over several days. This technique creates a lightly smoked yet flavorful cured delicacy that is both healthy and delicious.

Gravlax is a traditional Scandinavian dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. The word gravlax comes from the Swedish word "grav" which means "grave" or "to bury". This refers to the method of preparation where the salmon is buried in a mixture of salt, sugar and seasonings.


1 lb salmon (raw salmon fillet, deboned, skin on)
2 t sugar
2 t salt
2 t dill (dill leaves, fresh o dried, better fresh)
1 pn pepper (freshly ground black pepper, or 3-4 whole peppercorns)
1 lemon (zest and juice)


Place the salmon fillet in a shallow dish or baking tray.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar, salt, dill, peppercorns and lemon zest until fully combined.

Rub the mixture into both sides of the salmon fillet and pour over the juice of one lemon. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three days, turning the salmon over once after the first day.

After three days, remove the plastic wrap and brush off any remaining sugar and salt mixture. Slice the gravlax thinly.

Preparation time
4 servings

The estimated preparation time does not include resting time.


Serve gravlax with a selection of accompaniments such as pickles, capers, horseradish cream or mustard sauce.

Serve your gravlax with a selection of different types of bread and crackers for an impressive starter or main course. Rye bread or wholegrain bread are particularly good.


For a more intense flavor, try adding fresh grated ginger or crushed juniper berries to the curing mixture.

Try using different types of salmon for a unique taste experience.

For a sweeter gravlax, add extra sugar to the curing mixture.

Experiment with different herbs such as tarragon or chives instead of dill weed.

Infuse your gravlax with other flavors by adding white wine, vodka or aquavit to the curing mixture.


The dish is thought to have originated in the 15th century as a way to preserve salmon during the long winter months. Today, gravlax is a popular appetizer or main course served in restaurants and homes across Scandinavia.

easy, mix, marinade
fish, appetizer, light meal
Swedishl food recipes
Food in Europe