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Gravad mackerel ©️ Nel Brouwer-van den Bergh

Gravad Mackerel

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 d
Total Time 3 d
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine Scandinavian
Servings 8


Ingredients for the dish

  • 4 mackerel halves
  • 17 oz (500 g) sugar
  • 2 oz (55 g) sea salt
  • big bunch fresh dill
  • 25 juniper berries


Instructions to make the dish

  • On day 1, make a solution of 2 oz (60 ml) vinegar in 1 quart (1 L) of (purified) water and place this in a zip lock bag or other container.
  • Rinse the frozen mackerel halves under cold water for a minute
  • Place the half frozen mackerel halves in the dilute vinegar mixture so they are fully immersed and place in the fridge for 24 h
  • On day 2, prepare the sugar and salt mixture, wash the dill and superficially dry them and crush the juniper berries with the flat part of your knife
  • Rinse the vinegar treated mackerel halves under water and dry with a kitchen paper towel
  • In an oblong bowl or container, spread a third of the sugar/salt mixture on the bottom
  • Place two fish halves skin side down and spread another third of the sugar salt mixture on the meat sides. Also place all dill and crushed juniper berries on the meat sides
  • Then place the other two halves on top, flesh on flesh, so skin-side up and cover with the remaining sugar salt mixture
  • Cover with kitchen wrap and place a weight on the fish. Place in the refrigerator
  • After 24 h, turn the fish upside down and place the weights back again and let cure for another full day in the refrigerator
  • After the curing, remove the fish halves and clean them from the curing mixture with a spoon. No need to rinse them with water and dry them.
  • Thereafter, cut out the pectoral fin, that is mostly left on the fish behind the gill. Also check if there is any part where the dorsal fins or pelvic fins were attached that needs to be removed. Then remove the skin and then remove the pin bones in the middle of the fish, thereafter the skeleton bones. Use your clean fingers to feel them out and use pincers to take them out
  • Finally use a very sharp knife to cut thin slices perpendicular to the length of the fish, but also in a diagonal fashion, thus making larger slices. As the skin has been removed, you can cut through to the board.
  • Place the slices on a plate in a regular pattern. Thereafter cover and refrigerate until use.


Method: no heat treatment, curing
Food allergy & intolerance information: fish
Keyword cured, gravad, mackerel
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