Marinated Salmon In Cold Mustard Sauce

I picked up this recipe in Sweden, 1989, but didn't have a chance to use it until I got to Tokyo, 1991, where the price of nice salmon was typically less than beef. With such economic incentive, I tried it and the sauce is quite good with baked salmon, but the recipe calls for crab meat or marinated salmon. So the whole thing's here for you to try, if you have 48 to 72 hours for the salmon to marinate, and a back yard full of dill.

Gravilaxsas (sauce)

  • 3 tbsp. mild mustard
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup corn oil
  • plenty of finely chopped fresh dill
  • salt and pepper

Place the mustard in a bowl. Add sugar, vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. As when making mayonnaise, add oil drop by drop, stirring with a wooden spoon. At the last minute, mix in chopped dill.

Gravilax (salmon)

  • 3 lbs. (1-1/3 kg.) salmon, preferably the middle cut
  • 4 tbsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 tsp. corn oil
  • lots of fresh dill, including stalks and crowns.

Scale the salmon and pat dry. Cut lengthwise, remove the backbone and any small bones. Moisten with oil and rub with a mixture of salt, sugar and pepper. Place half of the fish, skin-side down, in a pan with a thick layer of dill. Sprinkle generously with more dill. Place the other half, skin-side up, with thick end resting on the thin end of the bottom piece. Sprinkle more dill over and around salmon.

Refrigerate for 48-72 hours, turning fish once or twice. Before serving, scrape off dill and seasonings. Slice salmon on the diagonal in thin slices. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh dill. 

– Lilla Sällskapet, Stockholm