Finnish Salted Salmon Recipe

This Finnish Salted Salmon Recipe (Gravlox/Graavilohi) is extremely popular in Finland and in all parts of Scandinavia.  Known for their nearness and love of the sea, the Finns eat more seafood than most of the world.  Salmon is one of the major staples of their diet, typically being eaten more than twice each week.  Salmon is particularly popular in stews, and on sandwiches which workers take with them each day. This recipe for salted salmon, is typically served in curled coils of fish, with sour cream, and on top of a piece of thinly sliced Dark Rye Bread.  What gives this dish extra flavor is the use of dill, a fairly pungent aroma.

During our moving adventures to the west coast, we had shipped a box of spices.  The box included almost 40 different bottles of spices.  We had packaged them fairly well, but unfortunately a bottle of dill broke all over the package.  To get an idea of how aromatic dill is, try having to clean up dill from your hands and counter top in large piles!  The smell of dill was on my hands all day!

Dill is only good in relatively small quantities, and it does a fine job at flavoring this Graavlohi.

Finnish Salted Salmon Recipe (Graavilohi)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Finnish Salted Salmon Recipe (Graavilohi)


10 Tablespoons Sugar
4 Tablespoons Salt
2 pounds of fresh Salmon Filets
4 Teaspoons dill weed
Fresh dill for garnish


  1. Combine sugar and salt in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Slice salmon in half (sandwich size), and sprinkle it with the sugar and salt mixture.
  3. Sprinkle with dill weed.
  4. Place salmon into a shallow 13 X 9 glass dish, top with plastic wrap. Weigh down the fish using another glass pan, or canned items, so that it will be flattened out.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 days. After 2 days, remove and drain off salt and sugar.
  6. Slice Salmon into thin diagonal slices.
  7. Garnish each slice with fresh dill.
  8. Serve on top of dark rye bread with sour cream.


This Salted Salmon Recipe (Graavilohi) is very tasty! The perfect hors d'oeuvres dish for a party or gathering.


7 thoughts on “Finnish Salted Salmon Recipe

  1. Lin Roselli

    Hello there!

    I just stumbled upon your blog while looking at some Finnish recipes, glad I did. 🙂 I recently moved here from the US back in 2012, living with my husband just outside of Turku. He’s not at all a cook, so I’ve been really curious about Finnish cuisine and whatnot. Anyways, just wanted to say hello to you – lovely site!

  2. Lin Roselli

    Also, I had been wondering what the ‘cream’ stuff was in the pictures with this fish, now I know it’s sour cream. Is it eaten any other way? I’ve been adding slices to Finnish Islander bread along with a smidgeon of butter. Tastes great!

    1. Amanda Post author

      Yes it’s sour cream. however, you can also top with butter- that sounds delicious! Adding the sour cream ans dill on top is mostly just for decoration. Enjoy!

  3. Pia

    Ratios r perfect. Turned out great. Have been buying for years but decided to make this time. Will never go back. Thanks for posting

  4. Shawna Valerio

    I am looking for a couple of recipes for a Finnish dish my mother used to make. She used salt Salmon,

    potatoes, salt pork, egg and milk. You would layer the salt pork, potatoes, salt Salmon then cover with a

    milk & egg mixture. Luxlota (spelling). Served hot with vinegar sprinkled on top.

    She also made fish head stew (she only used chunks of Salmon never the heads). Salmon, potatoes, whole

    allspice with a milk base.

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