Norwegian Gravlax

Norwegian Gravlax

  • Servings: 10 to 12, at least
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Norwegian gravlax, or lox, is salmon that has been cured in salt and sugar. Other flavors, like dill and brandy, can be added to enhance the salmon.

Gravlax is a holiday staple in our home, where we enjoy it with the best New York-style bagels in the Midwest (and maybe the world), from Bernbaum’s right here in downtown Fargo, North Dakota.

1 side of salmon – “pin bone out” (bones removed), skin on
2 cups brown sugar, (white sugar will also work)
¾ cup Kosher salt
¼ fresh chopped dill

Optional ingredients:
(You can use any, all three, or none of these ingredients)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon brandy

Special equipment: 2 28-ounce cans of tomatoes (or any item of comparable weight) to weigh down the salmon

In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt and dill together and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and brandy and brush over the fillet of salmon, skin side down.

Take the sugar/salt mixture and, using your hands, pack it onto the flesh side of the salmon, making sure to cover the entire area of exposed flesh.

Wrap the side of salmon very tightly with plastic wrap and place between two sheet pans. Place two 28-ounce cans on top of the sheet pan to weigh down the salmon, and refrigerate for 2 days. The weight of the cans is necessary to compress the salmon and achieve the desired outcome.

After two days, unwrap the salmon and use a paper towel to wipe off the excess salt mixture. To slice, use a very sharp knife and cut along the bias in super-thin slices. Be careful not to cut through to the skin. Place slices on individual plates or a large platter and serve.

To store: Once the salmon has cured for 48 hours and the brine has been removed, cover the gravlax in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to five days. To freeze, cut the gravlax into slices and wrap in wax paper. Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months.


  • Serve Gravlax with traditional accoutrements like capers, red onion, hard-boiled eggs, cream cheese and bagels or toast points.
  • Also excellent served with our Pickled Red Onions.