Salmon ‘Gravlax’

Gravlax salmon is a Scandinavian dish (‘gravad lax’ in Swedish) with a mix of salt, sugar, pink pepper and even vodka. It’s a true delish if you respect few important points in its preparation: first of all the salmon needs to be of an extreme quality and wild, then it needs to spend few hours under a large coarse salt cover. The salt is going to take away the water from the flesh and the salmon will be slightly ‘candied’ (on its surface) yet soft with a melting texture inside. And finally, the sweet-and-sour you need to eat it with. I do not respect the traditional recipe as I do not use sugar, pink pepper nor vodka. Nevertheless, I use beets to color the salt and the salmon surface: the result is outstanding !Ingredients for 8/10 persons :

  • 1 salmon filet (2 kg) with skin
  • 1 kg white or grey coarse salt
  • 3 middle size beets, cooked, peeled and puréed
  • 2 large handful dill, chopped
  • 2 yolks
  • the juice of one lemon
  • 4 tbsp Meaux mustard (with mustard seeds)
  • 2 tbsp cane sugar
  • 20cl olive oil
  • some lemon to serve (optional)
  • 16 to 20 small potatoes (= 2 per person), cooked and peeled to serve


  1. The day before or on the same day (remember the salmon will need to stay in the fridge from 9 to 12 hours), mix in a bowl, the salt and the puréed beets
  2. In a large dish, display a first layer of coarse salt. Lay the salmon filet with its skin facing downwards, then cover with salt again (the salmon should be fully covered)
  3. Cover the dish with plastic film and place it in the fridge from 9 to 12 hours
  4. Rinse thoroughly the salmon under cold water and dry it with some paper towel, before slicing it
  5. In another bowl, mix the mustard, the yolks, the sugar and the lemon juice. Once the mix is homogeneous, pour the olive oil and whisk it till you have a kind of mayonnaise. Add the dill and mix again
  6. Serve the gravlax with additional lemon and the potatoes (hot or cold)