From Sweden, Gravlax

In 2008, my husband C had to spend some 6 months in Singapore for his job: back then we were only annoyed by this long separation; now we realise it was an experience that would benefit our lives in other ways.
Staying at the Holiday Inn, he got so many IHG reward points that in 2009 we could spend 4 nights in a free double room at the luxurious Intercontinental Grand Hotel in Stockholm, the hotel where Nobel prize winners stay when they collect their distinction.
The room had all the comforts and the amenities of the magnific rooms that the Nobel prize winners surely enjoy, only our room was in the hotel basement, overlooking an interior service court.
This way we understood that what you really pay for, is the view.


Speaking about view, breakfast was served in The Veranda restaurant, overlooking the waterfront and the Royal Palace, it was really beautiful.
Breakfast consisted in an extremely large buffet, that took us some mornings to properly explore.
What we immediately notice tough, was that there were two salmon platters: one was marked “smoked” and the other was marked “gravad lax”.
We had no idea of what gravad lax was, and either google or wikipedia were ruled out as we didn’t own a smartphone in 2009.
So we had to resort to more traditional ways to get knowledge: we tasted it.
It was good, definitely not smoked, with a funny taste, full of dill surely.
For me, famous for being no fan of salmon, it could not compete with herring, so I completely forgot about it.

But here in Canada I am always looking for new and different ways to eat salmon, as salmon we must eat, for lack of alternatives.
So C came up with gravad lax, and this time with internet on our side!
We discovered that gravad lax, or gravlax, is salmon marinated for at least 2 days in a salt & sugar mixture, with lots of dill.

It’s so easy it practically makes itself.
Step 1: mix together equal amounts of salt and sugar with a little grounded pepper; make a bed with this half of this mix in a glass or ceramic baking pan, or deep dish then lay the first fillet of salmon on the salt & sugar bed. Put a generous amount of fresh dill on the fillet.
Step 2: cover with the other salmon fillet
Step 3: pour the salt & sugar mix on top of the salmon. Seal the pan with plastic wrap and place something heavy on top of the salmon (we used Coke cans). Put in the fridge for 24 hours, then turn it upside down, trying to cover it with the salt as well as you can. Then put it back in the fridge for 24 more hours.
Step 4: pat the salmon dry and clean it using a number of paper towels (the recipe calls for skin-on salmon, but we couldn’t find it). Finally thinly slice each fillet and arrange nicely on a serving platter.

We served it with Irish soda bread and choice of two sauces: one with mustard + dill and another with sour cream + chives.

Gravlax meal
While we waited for the salmon to be ready, we also made use of the fillet trimmings…


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