Gravlax is luxurious and delicious.
Instead of using sugar, use honey.

The main reason Gravlax is highly recommended on the GAPS Diet is that this fish provides you with natural fish oil, also known as Omega 3 fatty acids.
This kind of fat is essential, meaning that we need it,
but as we dot produce it ourselves, we need to eat some.

To make Gravlax is not that complicated.
However, you will need to plan when to serve it, as the fish must be stored, soaked in a sweet and salty mixture, for at least 24 hours in the fridge.

Gravad means “digged” in Swedish. Lax means “salmon”.
Gravlax = digged salmon

Fishermen used to dig holes in the sandy beaches, covered with birch leaves and sprinkled with a little salt. This ancient conservation method was due to lack of salt; Scandinavian fishermen used to use barrels of salt, to conserve fish. But these Swedish fishermen were short of the expensive salt, so they invented an alternative. The presence of some carbohydrate (the leaves) and small amounts of salt made their fatty fish turn very delicate and still edible after several weeks in the sandy holes.

However, this is not quite the same we do today. The modern Gravlax is not fermented, like in those earlier days, but the “digging method” to follow is a modern way to try to copy the wonderful taste and texture. And, as mentioned, a great way to get natural, unspoiled fish oil.


  • 1 side of wild salmon filet, thawed. It must have been deep frozen for at least 12 days. This is to make sure that any unwanted microbes are killed off. Sizes vary tremendously depending on where you live on the globe. The size I can get is about 600 gram = 1 Lb + 3 ounces. If yours is bigger, then use more of the remaining ingredients. Double size, double amounts.
  • 1 tbsp salt (natural salt. No added whatever like for instance iodine)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp green peppercorn
  • 1 handfull or 2  tbsp dried of fresh dill


1. Wash your hands and only use clean utensils when preparing the fish. It won´t be heated, so you will need to be cautious about hygiene.
2. Cut the filet in 2 halves, so that it fits into a flat dish to store in the fridge. Place one of the halves in the dish, skin side down.
3. Rinse the fresh dill carefully. Pad it dry and chop it.
4. In a mortar, crush the pepper with the salt.
5. Mix this well with honey and dill, fresh or dry.

Klar til køl - om et døgn er fisken klar

Salmon sandwich ready to cool and turn into Gravlax

6. Place this mixture in a layer on the salmon filet in the dish. Spread it evenly and place the other half filet on top, skinside up.

7. Cover this fish sandwich with plastic foil and place something with a bit of weight on top of it, to give it some  pressure.

8. Place the fish in the fridge. It´s ready after 24 hours. It keeps for 5 days, but you will have to place it in the fridge right after you have cut the amount of slices, you want.

How to cut it:

You will need a long, thin, sharp filleting knife. Place one side of the filet on a cutting board, skin side down, and scrape off the dill paste, but only on that part of the fish you wish to slice. Cut thin slices as horizontal as possible. When you have cut the first half of the whole filet, keep the skin and use it as a cover for the other half.

If you bring some of this delicious fish for lunch, you will need to keep it cold with a cool pack.

You can use other fatty fish in this recipe. No maigre fish will work. Only fatty. For instance Greenland Halibut and Mackerel.

Gravlax Sauce

  • 1 tps whole fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard, no additives
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • salt, pepper
  • dill, as much as you like

1. Crush the fennel in the mortar.
2. Mix it with mustard and honey plus salt and pepper to taste.
3. Rinse dill very well, pad it dry and chop it. Mix dill into the sauce and serve with the fish.

This sauce is also great with dried ham like Serrano or Parma, no additives.

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