Salted Salmon aka ‘Graavilohi’

Finnish cuisine isn’t typically enjoyed worldwide and before I started visiting Finland about 12 years ago, I knew very little about how simple yet flavoursome their cuisine is. I fell in love with some flavours instantly and have brought them home to share with my Cypriot/Italian family and friends who also now love them. I’m going to be releasing some of my favourite Finnish recipes from time to time, so stay tuned and enjoy!

Salted salmon is so easy to do yourself and in my opinion is way more delicious than cold smoked salmon. It has such a beautiful, fresh and delicate flavor. Enjoy it with boiled potatoes, wild mushroom sauce and delicious rye bread.


Salted Salmon

Serves 6


Half a fresh salmon, filleted and with the skin left on.

1 handful rock salt

1/2 tsp sugar (white)


Rose Pepper (If you can’t find it I would use white pepper)



  1. Lay the fillet skin side down on some baking paper
  2. Grab some kitchen tweezers or a pair of your own from the bathroom (washed) and run your finger along the fillet pulling out any remaining bones that you can feel poking through the flesh.
  3. Sprinkle rock salt over the fillet followed by sugar. Spread whole rose pepper (or white) over the fillet and lay whole dill stems with leaves on top (no need to chop the dill).
  4. Wrap the salmon in baking paper (or if using whole salmon, sandwich the other fillet on top) and place on a shallow tray in the fridge. It’s also a good idea to place weight on the fish – a weighted plate will do.
  5. Leave in the fridge for 10-12 hrs. (Turn once if using whole salmon)
  6. After the salmon has cured in the fridge, rinse under cold water and pat dry.
  7. Take a sharp knife and start slicing off thin layers starting at the tail end.
  8. Garnish with fresh dill, lightly crushed rose or white pepper and lemon wedges.


  • The salt cures the salmon so the longer you leave it, the saltier it will be. Also the more salt you use, the saltier it will be.  I like to leave mine for no more than 10hrs.
  • Slice off pieces as you need them and store what remains in baking paper in the fridge. It will keep for 3-4 days. We often use the leftovers on home-made pizza or in pasta which is delicious!
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  1. Father's Day Feast | Lydia Lassila | Olympic Champion - […] be served with meat, fish or vegetables. It marries perfectly with smoked salmon as well as the salted salmon recipe …

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