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Gravlax, the Scandinavian Delicacy Made From Salmon

Updated on May 3, 2020
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Metromain are what you could call a food lover in the working class. He had never cooked lobster, but makes the best white fish ever.

If you have been in the Scandinavia, you could tell that we love seafood. Salmon, shrimps, lobster, herring, clamps, mackerel. And everything could be eaten with some kind of mayonnaise. But there is one fish, cooked in a very special way that is simply perfect just as it is.

Gravlax is Swedish and is literally translated to grave-salmon. Back in the days, we made it by seasoning salmon with equal parts of salt and sugar plus some herbs. Then buried the whole thing in the cold ground for some days before enjoying.

Gravlax is fine just as it is as a snack, but could be eaten on a sandwich. Or with the Swedish national dish, boiled potato with pickled herring. Or with cheese and cracker as a snack to wine.

Or you have it as a drinking snack. It works wonderful with vodka, schnapps and akvavit.


  • 1 kg / 2,2 lbs salmon, whole piece
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 dl / 0,5 cups dill, chopped


  1. Cut the salmon in two equal pieces. Leave the skin on.
  2. Remove all the bones you can find with a tweezers.
  3. Make some shallow cuts in the skin.
  4. Mix salt, sugar and pepper and rub it in.
  5. Pour the dill evenly over the flesh.
  6. Lay one of the pieces over the other so the fleshes are against each other.
  7. Put the whole thing in a plastic bag and seal tight.
  8. Put it in the fridge for three days. Turn it over once a day.
  9. If you bought the fish fresh, put it in the freezer for at least two days before eating.
  10. When you want to eat it, you cut the fish in thin slices.

And make sure that it's a "Fiskars" knife

Fiskars, Finland's pride and joy, is probably the best knife-maker in the world. Comfortable grip, quality steel and sharper than Satan's pitchfork, I love it.

For cutting fish in thin slices, the knife needs to be sharp. One could probably recommend a fillet-knife, but I would prefer an Asian or a regular kitchen-knife. I like the wider blade and find those more easier to handle. And the added weight is a big plus, it makes me feel more powerful.

Atlantic salmon from Norway is the best

Northern Norway is a part of the Arctic, which is cold. And salmon thrives in cold water.

Atlantic salmon is one of the best salmon there is. Scientist sees the fish as a super-food. Stuffed to the brim with good stuffs as such as Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin D, B12, selenium, niacin, B6, magnesium, and so on. Plus it basically has no carbohydrates.

This combination results in a happy and healthy salmon that tastes great and are also healthy as food. Eating salmon could lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, stroke, cognitive problems like Alzheimer’s disease, and some types of cancers. It may even help fight off depression.

There is a rumor that farmed salmon from Norway is the most toxic food that exist, but that is under debate. So you have to make your own decision. But if you stick to licensed and wildly caught fish (not from over-fished areas).


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