Gravad lax with ginger

    20 min

    The traditional Scandinavian recipe of marinated raw salmon served with a mustard and dill sauce is here given a modern twist, with fresh ginger and lemongrass added to the marinade. Be sure to use really fresh salmon as it needs to be marinated for 2 days. Serve as a starter with slices of wholemeal or rye bread.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 225 g (8 oz) piece of very fresh salmon fillet (tail end)
    • Marinade
    • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
    • 2 tsp caster sugar
    • 1 tsp mixed black, green and red peppercorns, crushed
    • 15 g (½ oz) piece fresh root ginger, chopped
    • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
    • 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
    • Mustard and dill sauce
    • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
    • 3 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
    • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
    • To serve
    • 1 small avocado
    • 55 g (2 oz) mixed salad leaves
    • 1 cucumber, halved and sliced
    • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced

    Prep:20min  ›  Ready in:20min 

    1. Mix together all the marinade ingredients. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the bottom of a shallow, non-metallic dish. Lay the salmon on top, skin side down, and sprinkle over the remaining marinade, pressing the mixture well into the salmon flesh. Cover the salmon with cling film and place a board and a heavy weight on top. Leave to marinate in the fridge for about 48 hours, turning the fish every 12 hours.
    2. When the salmon is ready to serve, prepare the mustard and dill sauce. Combine all the ingredients, stirring well to mix smoothly, and spoon into a serving bowl.
    3. Slice the salmon very thinly, cutting diagonally off the skin, so that each slice is edged with a little of the dill marinade. Arrange the salmon on serving plates.
    4. Peel and stone the avocado and cut into chunky pieces. Arrange with the salad leaves and cucumber next to the salmon. Sprinkle over the sliced onion and serve with the mustard and dill sauce.

    Some more ideas

    For a quicker version of this dish, use 200 g (7 oz) sliced smoked salmon, spreading it out in a shallow dish. To make the marinade, roughly chop the ginger, put it in a garlic press and squeeze the ginger juice over the slices of salmon with the juice of ½ lemon. Scatter over the finely chopped lemongrass and dill, and leave in the fridge for several hours or overnight for the flavours to mingle. * Make the sauce with crème fraîche (reduced-fat if you like) or soured cream instead of the mayonnaise and yogurt combination.

    Plus points

    Avocados do contain large amounts of fat; however, most of the fat is unsaturated and this can help to protect against heart disease. Fully ripe avocados mashed with some lemon juice make a good healthy spread for sandwiches as an alternative to butter or margarine. * Dill has been known to have soothing and sedative properties since the time of the Egyptians. Early settlers took dill to America where it became known as ‘meeting house seeds’ because chewing the seeds helped tummy rumblings during long sermons.

    Each serving provides

    B1, B6, B12, niacin * E * A, calcium, iron, potassium, selenium

    Total Time

    20 minutes, plus 2 days marinating

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