Gravalax with a spice twist and mustard dressing.

Gravalax is a classic part of the Swedish smorgasbord. This recipe is a twist on the original though just as wonderful. The flavours of anise and fennel seed delicately balance against the dill and mustard. Served with a sweet mustard dressing, this is a lighter and equally wonderful version of the classic sauce.

Serves8-10 Origin Fusion
Preparation 0-15 min + 2 jours de marinade Heat rating (Mild)
Cooking no cooking Ease (Easy)
Vegetarian No


1 Tbsp Allspice
2 Tbsp Fennel seeds
1 kg center-cut salmon fillet skin on
2 tbsps gin
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
4 tbsps coarse sea salt
4 tbsps granulated sugar
3 tsps Dijon mustard
1 large bunch dill, finely chopped

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon caster sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 tablespoon chopped dill
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place the salmon fillet, skin-side down, into a wide, shallow dish that fits the salmon snugly.
Grind the fennel seeds and star anis in a grinder or a pestle and mortar (it is ok if the spices are coarsely ground). Place the salt, sugar, spices, mustard and gin into a clean bowl and mix well until the ingredients have combined to form a yellow mixture with a smooth texture.
Spread the mixture over the salmon's pink flesh so that it has been totally covered.

Sprinkle the dill onto the paste-covered salmon and pat down. Press the dill onto the flesh so that no pink flesh from the salmon is visible.
Turn the fish over in the dish so that the skin is facing upwards. Cover the dish with one layer of cling film. Press the cling film down onto the edges of the fish before wrapping it around the sides of the dish. Once this has been completed repeat the process with another layer of cling film.

Apply weight to the top of the fish to press it down into the dish (jars, tins or any other weights can be used). Transfer the fish to the fridge and leave for 2 days.

After 2 days, unwrap the cling film from dish and remove the salmon fillet. Brush off the dill from the salmon.

Place the salmon fillet on a carving board flesh-side up. With a long, sharp knife, carefully carve very thin diagonal slivers of the pink flesh off the salmon. Work from the right-hand end of the fillet (unless you are left-handed). Re-wrap the fillet in cling film and keep the gravadlax in the fridge if it is not all sliced in one go.
To make the dressing place the mustard in a bowl and whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. Add the sugar, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Mix in the creme fraiche and the dill, then season with salt and black pepper.

Serve the spiced gravalax drizzled with the mustard dressing

Print the recipe

Have you tried this recipe?