Gravad lax, called cured salmon in English speaking countries, is a marinated salmon dish. You frequently find this recipe served alongside smoked salmon as part of a traditional Swedish smorgasbord, such as during Midsummer celebrations.
Gravad lax is often served with a mustard sauce called Hovmästarsås.
It is important to remember to freeze your salmon for 72 hours before preparing, to kill any parasites. As an alternative, you can cure it and freeze it afterwards. That works well when you want to prepare the fish a couple of days before your event.
Gravad Lax Recipe
1 kilogram side of salmon
3 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp salt
2 tsp crushed black pepper
1 bunch of dill
Grated zest from 1 organic lemon
Trim the salmon from the backbone (or ask your fishmonger to do this). This should result in two fillets from the one side of the fish.
Mix sugar, salt, pepper and finely chopped dill. Rub the salmon fillets with the salt mixture and then put them together on top of each other so that the meat side meets meat side.
Arrange them so that the narrow tail section meets the thicker neck section. That way you get one evenly thick package. Put the fish in a plastic bag or in cling film. Place a weight on the salmon, such as a milk carton. Refrigerate for one to two days. Turn the package every now and then, not forgetting to put the weight back.
Remove small bones with a forceps. Cut each piece of filet into thin slices before serving. By cutting the cured salmon just before serving, you extend how long it lasts. But it is best to freeze the meat before it is sliced.
Pairing with Cured Salmon
Pair with hovmästarsås, a cold, emulsified sauce made of mustard, a neutral oil (rapeseed or sunflower), finely chopped dill and vinegar. The mustards are preferably a combination of the Swedish kind of “senap” (mustard), which is a bit sweet, and the more distinctively sharp and spicy french dijon. A trick from the Swedish master chef Tommy Myllymäki is to add some muscovado sugar. Finish the sauce with a classic pinch of salt and grinded black pepper.
Recipe by Lisa Lemke | VisitSweden