Gravlax, a Nordic dish of raw fish, is something my mom makes every Christmas Eve. She prepares pounds and pounds of it, and every year the amount grows as our family does the same. The salmon is marinated, spiced, and pressed with weights. It is also surprisingly versatile in a host of recipes. Gravlax is a real treat served on toasted white bread or crackers as an appetizer. For breakfast, it makes a lovely accompaniment to poached eggs. It also makes fantastic open faced Tartine sandwiches, garnished with shaved fennel, radish and lettuce. This particular recipe includes a dill and mustard sauce that goes well with bread or boiled potatoes. Enjoy!

A traditional Christmas Eve Gravlax Recipe with Mustard Sauce from Salty Fig.
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: American
Yield: serves 6
  • 2 lbs. Salmon fillet, fresh, skin on (preferable, it holds the salmon together during the pressing process)
  • 2 Tablespoons salt, Kosher
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
  • ½ cup dill, fresh, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chives, fresh, sliced thin
  • Lemon, sliced

    Ingredients for Mustard Sauce:
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 6 oz. Olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  1. Cut the salmon fillet into two equal pieces and place on a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil.
  2. Combine the salt, sugar, and black peppercorns into a mixture.
  3. Place an equal amount of the mixture on top of each piece of salmon.
  4. Place one ½ of the dill on top of each piece of salmon.
  5. Place the salmon dill sides together, one on top of the other.
  6. Wrap the salmon tightly in the heavy duty aluminum foil.
  7. Wrap a 10 lb. weight (or something equivalent) in heavy duty aluminum foil.
  8. Place the salmon on a tray in the refrigerator with the weight on top. Allow to sit for 1½ days.
  9. After 1½ days, turn the salmon over and replace the weight for another 1½ days.
  10. At the end of three days the salmon is ready to eat.
  11. Remove the salmon from the foil. Gently scrape the dill, and spices off the fillets. Do not rinse with water.
  12. Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the salmon skin from each fillet.
  13. Slice the salmon very thin, and place it on a chilled platter.
  14. Garnish with fresh chives, lemon slices, and Mustard Sauce.

    Method for the Mustard Sauce:
  15. Whisk the above ingredients together.
  16. Serve in a small bowl along side the salmon.

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