Discover the Art of Norwegian Salmon

Learn the ins and outs of Norwegian Salmon and discover how to prepare the classic recipe for Norwegian Salmon Gravlax.

Unveiling the Norwegian Salmon Recipe

Every year, I remind myself to incorporate more nutritious seafood into our family’s meals. I’ve always admired my mother-in-law’s meal planning skills, especially her ability to include a variety of protein sources each week.

For as long as I can remember, she’s had a calendar on her fridge with each day labeled and the corresponding meal planned. She ensures that fish or some other form of seafood is served at least once a week. And we all know the incredible health benefits of marine omega-3 fatty acids!

Seafood never really appeared on my plate growing up, except for canned tuna, fish sticks, or the occasional grilled catfish.

If anyone asked me about the one food that intimidates me in the kitchen, I’d say seafood. That’s why you won’t find many seafood recipes in Good Life Eats’ recipe index.

Sadly, my knowledge of seafood is limited. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not eager to learn more.

I’d like to share what I’ve discovered about seafood from the Norwegian Seafood Council, specifically about Norwegian Salmon, which is ocean-farmed in the frigid waters of Norway.

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The Norwegian Salmon Industry

The cold Arctic waters of Norway have shaped and nourished generations of seafarers.

Norway, pioneers in ocean salmon farming since the early 1970s, has gained an international reputation for producing some of the freshest and finest seafood. The Norwegian ocean yields high-quality salmon due to the icy temperatures.

During the first year of a salmon’s life, it stays in a hatchery tank on land until it gains enough strength to survive in the ocean. Once ready, the salmon are transferred to spacious ocean pens that provide ample room for their growth.

Norway not only stands as one of the world’s leading seafood suppliers but also maintains strict safety measures to ensure excellence in raising their ocean-farmed salmon.

Rigid Safety Standards for Norwegian Salmon Farms

Norway’s deep respect for nature and strong cultural pride drive them to continuously improve their already strict safety standards for ocean-farmed salmon. Their aim is to offer consumers fresh and delicately flavored salmon from Norway throughout the year.

“The analogy I would give is that farmers in Norway treat their salmon just like our organic farmers in the U.S. treat their farms,” Ashley Koff, R.D., M.S., shared on a Good Morning America Health Segment.

Norwegian law mandates that salmon make up less than 2.5% of the volume in an aquaculture facility, ensuring ample water for the fish. By doing so, Norway guarantees maximum comfort and optimal growth for their salmon.

Advanced technology closely monitors the salmon’s development, providing farmers and veterinarians with a comprehensive understanding of every aspect of their lives. The technology even alerts them when the fish are full, allowing the feeding device to be shut down.

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Norwegian Salmon Farmers

Aino Olaisen, at an early age, became involved in Norway’s ocean-farmed salmon culture. Her father recognized ocean-farmed salmon as a solution to reverse Lovund’s depopulation and economic decline during the early 1970s.

Aino began working for the family business and dedicated her summers to the farm. At 16, she left her hometown of Lovund to pursue further education in fishery. She later attended the Norwegian College of Fishery Science in Tromso.

After 15 years of study and exploration, Aino returned home to start a family and continue her father’s legacy. She is now the proud owner of Nova Sea AS, a venture established by her father, Steinar, in 1972.

“We enjoy salmon for dinner at least once a week, and we often relish smoked salmon for breakfast and lunch,” Aino shared. “My favorite way to serve it is by baking salmon fillets in aluminum foil, sprinkled with soy sauce, herbs, fresh chili, fresh ginger, and a few drops of freshly squeezed lime. My family loves it served with fresh vegetables.”

Delve into the World of Norwegian Gravlax

Gravlax epitomizes one of Norway’s most distinctive culinary creations. The term “Gravlax,” literally meaning “Grave-Salmon,” refers to the medieval practice of curing raw fish by burying it in sand above the high tide level.

Today, Gravlax is achieved by curing Norwegian Salmon Fillet with a combination of salt, sugar, and dill. This modern interpretation of the Norwegian dish is often enjoyed on open-faced sandwiches or paired with stewed potatoes.

The Ingredients for Norwegian Salmon Recipe

For the Salmon:

  • Salmon
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Black Pepper
  • Fresh Dill
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For the Gravlax Sauce:

  • Egg Yolks
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Sugar
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • White Pepper
  • Mustard
  • Fresh Dill

For a complete list of ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll down to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How to Prepare Traditional Norwegian Salmon

Begin by trimming the salmon fillets and removing any bones. Combine the salt, sugar, pepper, and dill. Spread half of the salt mixture at the bottom of a pan, followed by the remaining half on top of the salmon.

Place the salmon in the pan, skin side down. Wrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap, then refrigerate it for 3-4 days. Remember to turn the salmon daily during the curing process.

Making the Gravlax Sauce

Combine the salt and egg yolks, then gradually add the oil while whisking. Stir in the sugar, vinegar, pepper, mustard, and dill. Set the sauce aside.

Once the salmon has finished curing, remove the seasoning and slice the salmon into thin pieces. It’s now ready to be served with the Gravlax Sauce in a small bowl!

The above provides a brief overview of this recipe. For detailed instructions, refer to the free printable recipe card at the end of this post.

Pairings for Norwegian Salmon

Traditionally, Norwegian Salmon Gravlax is served with stewed potatoes and gravy.

Thinly sliced salmon also makes an exquisite appetizer for parties. Try presenting it alongside crackers or crostini toasts, with the Gravlax Sauce and sprigs of fresh dill for garnish.

Have you ever tried making Norwegian Salmon?

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