Grav Lax: Three Day Marinated Salmon Recipe

This has to be my favourite salmon recipe, but it’s one that pretty much only makes it onto the table for Christmas morning.

179996_10150367654720234_7355877_nI made this for Christmas one year and thought it was the best thing I’d ever tasted, and it’s become a Christmas favourite for us.  This is not a SMOKED salmon recipe -although I have in a pinch made the dressing to have with smoked salmon, which is also delicious.

For this recipe, the salt draws liquid from the salmon and “cooks” it in the fridge over the period of three days. It forms a lot of liquid in the fridge, so make sure to use a large enough bowl. If not for Christmas, serve this as a brunch with a selection of breads or as a starter to an evening meal. It is amazing.

Grav Lax: 3 Raw Marinated Salmon Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 8
For the Salmon
  • 1 kg Norwegian salmon fillets (of optimum quality)
  • 60g salt (preferably sea salt)
  • 70g sugar
  • 1 tsp peppercorns, slightly crushed
  • 1 bunch fresh dill including the stems
For the Sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Swedish mustard or German sweet mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • salt, pepper
  • 90 ml mild vegetable oil (not olive oil!)
  • additional fresh dill, finely chopped
  1. Three days before eating, remove all bones with a pair of tweezers, but leave the skin on. Rinse the salmon gently.
  2. Mash the dill stems in a mortar with a little of the salt, saving the leaves for the sauce.
  3. Mix with the rest of the salt, the sugar and pepper.
  4. Cover the flesh side of the fillets with the mixture, and place the fillets flesh-to-flesh in a tray made of glass or stainless steel.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and put a heavy weight on top (e. g. the mortar or a brick) - you need the weight to press down on the fish.
  6. Keep refrigerated for 72 hours, turning the fillets every 12 hours.
  7. Do not discard the liquid that forms until the end of 72 hours. ( A lot of liquid will form)
  8. After 72 hours scrape off the spices very gently and discard the liquid. (You could use this for a fish stock.)
  9. The preserved salmon will keep refrigerated for about a week.
For the sauce
  1. Make the sauce the day of, or the day before eating.
  2. Mix mustard, sugar and vinegar in a bowl and dd the oil a teaspoon at a time, constantly whisking.
  3. Just before serving, add lots of dill and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Slice the salmon with a sharp, flexible knife in long, thin slices parallel to the skin.
  5. Arrange the ice-cold salmon on lettuce leaves with slices of lemon.
  6. Serve the sauce separately.
  7. Optional: Also serve toasted bread and butter.

a-very-thermie-christmas-cover This recipe features in A Very Thermie Christmas, where you can find it and 50 other recipes perfect for a Thermomix® assisted Christmas. Read more about it here.

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