Monday, June 7, 2010

Cured Salmon “Gravlax” and Mustard Sauce “Hovmästarsås”

Pictures taken from Flickr kewpiebb99's photostream

In Sweden you usually have Gravlax during the holidays i.e Easter or Christmas and also served in most restaurants and smörgåsbord. 

Gravlax is a piece of Swedish food history, except for Swedish Meatballs, I think gravlax is the most famous culinary Swedish dish in the world.  You can get gravlax served in many parts of the world in many different restaurants.  Most of the time it is prepared the same way, use the same amount of salt and sugar.  If you do use more salt then sugar the harder the salmon will get and it is usually recommended that you use the middle piece of a salmon file. 

Since the 1600’s the mustard sauce has been served with the salmon and always made with mustard, oil and vinegar.  The ratios usually differ per family and restaurant but the ingredients usually stay the same. 

To me this is on of my favorite Swedish dishes.  And if you do not like to eat “raw” cured salmon you can always cure it and then cook it. 

Cured Salmon “Gravlax”

Serves: 6-10 

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cure Time: 3 days 

1 lbs of nice thick and fatty salmon file
1 large bunch of fresh dill
4 tbsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
1 ½ tbsp crushed whole white pepper 

Make sure that the salmon is fresh or previously frozen.  You can also freeze if after you have cured it. 

Cut the salmon file in half. Mix the salt, pepper and sugar in a bowl. Chop the dill.  Rub the salmon fillets with the sugar and salt mixture both front and back.  You want your salmon to be covered with this mixture, use it all.  Put one of the salmon pieces skin down in a deep dish and add dill.  Place the other piece of salmon, skin side up on top of the first one.  Wrap the salmon pieces in plastic wrap and place it back into the dish.  Juices will come out of your salmon so make sure you have a dish under this that can cover it or put it in a zip locked bag.  Place something heavy on the salmon, like a book or zip locked bag with coins.  Put the salmon in the refrigerator for 3 days.  Turn the salmon twice a day. 

After 3 days take out the salmon and remove the dill and spices using your hands, do not rinse the salmon.  

At this point the salmon is ready to be served, or you can freeze it and use it for another time. 

Serve as an appetizer on toast with lettuce leaves and Hovmästarsås or serve as a main course with cooked fresh potatoes and Hovmästarsås. 

Mustard Sauce “Hovmästarsås”

Serves: 6-10 

Prep Time: 15 minutes 

6 tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
10 tbsp of nice yellow mustard
6-8 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh dill 

Pour the vinegar in a small bowl, mix with sugar and salt and stir until somewhat dissolved.  Add mustard and oil and stir until well mixed.  Cut the dill finely with scissors in a cup.  Add dill to the sauce and stir to mix. 

The sauce is ready to be served and can be stored for several week in the fridge. 

Serve with cured salmon “Gravlax.” This sauce also goes with other seafood as well for example crab, shrimp and lobster. 

  Pin It

25 Responses to “Cured Salmon “Gravlax” and Mustard Sauce “Hovmästarsås””

  1. 1

    Splendid Willow — June 7, 2010 @ 7:48 am

    Ok, I am sooo trying this! I have been looking for the perfect cured salmon recipe! And if you say it is good – then I know it will be excellent!!!!

    E. – your blog is lovely! Everything looks so good here!

    ox, Mon

    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

      Oh Monika, you are missing out. You have to make this!! I always make a lot and then keep a peice in the fridge for future cravings. 🙂

  2. 2

    Deanna — June 7, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

    I love gravlax. I could eat it everyday. The last time I made it, I did a southwestern take on it. All I remember is there was tequila in the cure. I make mine as a really thick paste.

    • Delishhh replied: — June 7th, 2010 @ 9:59 pm

      Deanna, Gravlax with Tequila? That sounds amazing. Do you taste it at all? Then you just add salt and peppar?

  3. 3

    Piper — June 8, 2010 @ 3:56 am

    This is so interesting because I’ve heard the word or name Gravalax before – but never knew what it referred to (sad, I know!) So yay, now I know and it looks so yummy!!

    • Delishhh replied: — June 9th, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

      Piper – we all learn something new everyday. I hope you get to try this out. If you like Salmon this is great.

  4. 4

    The Shiny Pebble — June 8, 2010 @ 9:57 am

    Gravlax is my favorite Swedish dish as well. I usually make it around Christmas. A little bit goes a long way, so it is a good dish to have around the house to serve unexpected guests during the holiday season. I am making this page a favorite so I can come back for the mustard sauce recipe.

    • Delishhh replied: — June 9th, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

      The Shiny Pepple – Thank you so much for stopping by. You will have to let me know how the mustard sauce turns out when you make it.

  5. 5

    The Damsel in Dis Dress — June 8, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

    I just found your blog on BlogFrog, and I’m really excited because I love anything about Scandinavia. Very cool blog!

    • Delishhh replied: — June 9th, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

      The Damsel in Dis Dress – That is great. Thank you for stopping by. Hopefully you can make some good things from Delishhh! And when you do please come on back and tell me all about it.

  6. 6

    Magdalena — June 9, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

    I love Gravlax with salmon and some green salad. I have never made it at home, I hope I will do one day…this week, I leave for Poland for the whole summer. I hope I will have more time to work on the sunshine award….I was busy lately, and in plus our server (where my pictures were stored) was broken – I lost all our blog pictures….to restore them it was pain in the neck….kind regards..

    • Delishhh replied: — June 9th, 2010 @ 3:19 pm

      Magdalena – So sorry to hear about your photo’s i know how annoying that is. Have a fabulous summer and time in Poland.

  7. 7

    Alina — June 10, 2010 @ 9:23 am

    I love home-cured salmon! In fact we never buy cured salmon from the supermarket! I should try this recipe next time!

    • Delishhh replied: — June 12th, 2010 @ 7:17 am

      Alina – It is also one of my favorite things. So how do you cure your salmon? What do you have with it?

  8. 8

    FoodBuzz Project Food Blog Challenge #1 – Introduction — Delishhh — September 19, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

    […] cooking starting at 6am to late at night preparing everything from stocks, to pâté’s, to gravlax.  It was my parents who taught me that cooking is an art; anyone can cook from a recipe, but not […]

  9. 9

    Janae — September 29, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

    There are few things I love more than dill, but I don’t cook with it very often because I’m often not sure what to do with it (other than a cucumber salad I make, or adding to rice). This sauce looks wonderful, I will definitely give it a try, thanks!

    • chris replied: — January 4th, 2012 @ 4:21 am

      Dill is wonderful in potato salad.

  10. 10

    Extremely Chocolaty Chip Cookies and Giveaway — Delishhh — November 30, 2010 @ 1:04 am

    […] have a Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord as well.  Swedish Christmas smörgåsbord are filled with gravlax, herrings, ham, meatballs, red cabbage and all kinds of good stuff.  This will be first time I […]

  11. 11

    Bonnie Deahl — January 30, 2011 @ 6:03 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe for Gravlax. We see many recipes for other cuisines but seldom from Sweden or the Scandinavian countries. I made this salmon a while back and was surprised at how sweet the mustard sauce was for this dish. If you like salmon, smoked or otherwise, give this a try and find some (or better yet) bake some pumpernickel bread or vollkorn bread as a hearty base for this lovely fish.
    Now on to look at the Swedish meatballs! Could this be a piece of the Superbowl menu? perhaps..

  12. 12

    Roasted Beet Salad — Delishhh — February 15, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

    […] Pickled Red Beets Swedish Meatballs Red Cabbage Cured Salmon […]

  13. 13

    Delishhh » Spinach and Cheese Ravioli with Sage and Garlic Butter Sauce {Giveaway} » Delishhh — June 7, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

    […] Year Ago: Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread Two Years Ago: Cured Salmon ‘Gravlax’ and Mustard Sauce ‘Hovmästarsås’ Posted by Delishhh on June 7, 2012 Leave a Comment »   You Might […]

  14. 14

    C Ed Wright — November 6, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

    I wonder why no one else noticed this, but while you show a photo of very thinly sliced cured salmon that is obviously finished & “plated” gravlax, you make no mention of slicing it, just how to cure two half-filets with the curing mix sandwiched between for three days, then,
    “After 3 days take out the salmon and remove the dill and spices using your hands, do not rinse the salmon. At this point the salmon is ready to be served, or you can freeze it and use it for another time. Serve as an appetizer on toast with lettuce leaves and Hovmästarsås or serve as a main course with cooked fresh potatoes and Hovmästarsås.”
    So what technique is best for such transparently thin slices, do you keep & use the first one(s) where the cure mix was, etc. etc. We seem to be missing the middle of the story…?

    • Delishhh replied: — November 7th, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

      Ed, thank you for this comment. That is weird that nobody else has noticed this. I will make sure and update the post correctly but i want to let you know first. Once you remove all the spices, find the biggest knife you have and angle the knife at a 45 degree angle and cut the salmon into thin slices. (Just like you would a hanger steak) I usually cut what i will eat and then wrap the salmon back into plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator. The salmon will only last a 3-4 days. Some people will cut up the whole thing so you have your salmon sliced. I hope this helps.

  15. 15

    Swedish Shrimp Salad also called Skagenröra » Delishhh — July 31, 2013 @ 9:10 pm

    […] And if you are wondering what the other sandwich is – that is my homemade cured gravlax with mustard sauce. […]

  16. 16

    tips for pro quality photos — August 4, 2014 @ 5:05 pm

    I can read about this all day!! Maybe you own an RSS feed I could possibly check out.

    I have recently been scouting all through the
    internet with respect to posts on the topic of photography technique.

Leave a Comment