Gravlax – LADL Flowchart Recipe

Origin: Norway, Sweden

AKA: Gravad lax

About:  Gravlax is a popular Scandinavian appetizer that involves salt cured salmon kept at low temperatures (but not freezing!). The traditional processes for preservation in the Middle Ages involves burying caught fish in the sand to allow the fermentation process to cure the fish. The recipe has since been adapted to cure the fish by means of a dry salt marinade resulting in a brine. Once the salmon has rested for a sufficient amount of time, it is thinly sliced and used similar to other “nova lox” recipes. In this recipe, the Salmon is marinaded in the flavored spirit Aquavit. Try our Aquavit recipe.

When making this dish be sure to buy fresh ocean salmon, not farm raised. Also, do not substitute regular paprika or Hungarian paprika, it is very different from smoked paprika (AKA: Pimentón de La Vera, Spanish paprika).  Regular paprika tends to be neither sweet nor hot, but the Hungarian has a rich, sweet red pepper flavor, and range in pungency and heat. Be aware that each paprika also has different versions based on varying levels of heat depending upon the particular chilies used.

To get the gravlax thinly sliced, you’re going to need a fillet knife.

Served with:

  • Cream cheese
  • Mustard
  • Rye bread or crackers
  • Dill
  • Lemon zest
  • Pepper


  • Juniper berries, 1 tbsp, crushed and added to spice mix


  • Aquavit — Ouzo, vodka, white rum