Forfeng’s Blog: Gravlox with a twist, a great appetizer for the Holidays

This is from a old Norwegian family recipe that I tweaked a bit and used at many of the restaurants I cooked at. It became a signature dish at Le Cheval D’or while I was there.)

Also know as Gravlax (pronounced “grov-lox”) is from the Swedish name for this dish. Norwegians call it gravlaks and the Danish refer to it as Gravad laks.  Gravlox was how my Grandfather wrote it.


  • 2 sides of fresh salmon, de pin boned, skin on, rinsed well and patted dry
  • 5 lbs dark brown sugar
  • 5 lbs kosher salt
  • 1 cup cracked black pepper
  • 2 large bunches of fresh dill, washed and shaken dry, do not destem.
  • 1 cup fennel seed
  • 1 cup caraway seed
  • 4 cups of Aquavit

Cover a large sheet pan with several layers of seran wrap. Lay the salmon filets skin side down on the wrapped sheet pan. Make sure to not place salmon directly on the metal.

Lay sprigs of dill down on top of the salmon filet, using 1 whole bunch per filet. Sprinkle liberally with Aquavit.

Mix the sugar, salt, black pepper, fennel and caraway seeds together in a large bowl. Use this mixture and cover completely the salmon filets with all of the mixture, you should not see any of the salmon showing and there should be at least a 1/2 inch layer on top of the salmon. Sprinkle the covered filets with the remainder of the Aquavit.

Wrap the sheet pan and the covered salmon with multiple layers of seran wrap, making it as air tight as possible. Refrigerate salmon for at least 5 days and up to 7 days. After this time, remove the salmon from the mixture and rinse lightly and pat dry. The consistency of the salmon will be a bit harder then even hard smoked salmon.

Slice thinly and serve with Horseradish dill sauce and I recommend Lavash crackers.

Gravlox has a fairly long shelf life, up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. It also freezes quite well. If you freeze, make sure it is in an airtight container as it does pick up freezer odors.

Horseradish Dill sauce

  • 3 cups Sour Cream
  • 6 Tablespoons Fresh grated or jarred horseradish
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Fresh ground Black pepper to taste

-mix all ingredients well.

About Chef Forfeng

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