Icelandic Graflax

Eating fish regularly is likely a major factor in the longevity of Icelanders. This traditional salt-cured fish is usually served over buttered dark rye bread with a homemade honey-mustard sauce.

Prep Time
30 min



  • ¼ cup coarse sea salt    

  • 1½ tbsp organic evaporated cane juice (aka organic sugar) 

  • 2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed 

  • 6 tbsp fresh dill 

  • 2 1-lb pieces skin-on wild salmon or arctic char, patted dry 

  • dark rye and organic unsalted butter, optional


  • ¼ cup raw honey   

  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard  

  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar 

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 

  • 1/8 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper


1. Prepare fish: In a bowl, combine coarse salt, cane juice and crushed peppercorns.

2. Spread 2 tbsp dill on bottom of a 7 x 11-inch non-metallic baking dish; spread one-fourth of salt mixture on top. Place 1 piece salmon, skin side down, on top. Spread with 2 tbsp dill and half of remaining salt mixture. Place remaining salmon fillet on top, flesh side down (skin side up). Spread with 2 tbsp more dill and remaining salt mixture.

3. Place a sheet of parchment over fish, then cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Place another baking dish on top and weigh it down with a few heavy cans. Refrigerate for at least 2 days (up to 4 days), turning fish every 12 hours and basting with liquid that collects in dish. (NOTE: After 2 days, taste fish; it should be flavorful, slightly firmer than raw with a lox-like texture. The thicker the fish, the longer it needs in the salt mixture.)

4. Prepare sauce: In a bowl, whisk together honey, mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice. Drizzle in oil, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper. 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories 272
  • Carbohydrate Content 10 g
  • Cholesterol Content 51 mg
  • Fat Content 14 g
  • Fiber Content 0 g
  • Protein Content 25 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 2 g
  • Sodium Content 547 mg
  • Sugar Content 9 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 8 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g