I am inspired by the stories and traditions passed down from generation to generation. Norwegian cooking at its simplest and most elaborate. That’s what you will find here. Seasonal cooking, local ingredients, local artisans, and simple gatherings.  READ MORE...

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June 2022

June 9, 2022

Pickled Salmon (syltet laks)

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Pickled Salmon (syltet laks)
Pickled Salmon (syltet laks)

This post is made in partnership with Kvarøy Arctic Salmon

Pickled salmon, or syltet laks, is a triumph of a dish. It’s an elegant way to preserve ingredients that can be enjoyed the very next day and all week long. And it all starts with high quality, Fair Trade Certified Norwegian salmon from Kvaroy Arctic’s 3rd-generation family-owned farm – responsibly raised in the cold Arctic waters just off the western coast of Norway – giving it that superior flavor and texture.

As a matter of fact, pickled salmon also has a connection to Norway’s Constitution, as it was one of the dishes served to the Norwegian Constituent Assembly in 1814 as they set forth creating this important document. (see here)

Pickled Salmon (syltet laks)

A good dousing of salt and an hour in the refrigerator provides a quick cure for the salmon filets. When ready, the filets are cut into bite size pieces and layered with raw onions into a glass jar before a simple brine of salt, sugar, vinegar and spices is poured on top. A night in the refrigerator brings all of the flavors together.

Homemade flatbreads serve as the base for the pickled salmon. And a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh dill is all you need before diving into this delicious dish.

It’s simple to make while packing so much flavor into every bite – it’s no wonder then that it continues to live on as a heritage dish here in Norway.

Pickled Salmon (syltet laks)

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1.1 pounds (500 g) Kvarøy Arctic Salmon filets
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ½ cup (120 ml) white vinegar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • ½ tablespoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon juniper berries
  • ½ teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

Place the salmon filets in a dish. Sprinkle the salt all over the filets, covering them completely. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, water, black peppercorns, juniper berries, allspice berries and bay leaf to a simmer over medium-high heat, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and let cool completely.

After the salmon has been in the refrigerator for 1 hour, rinse the filets under cold water to remove the salt then pat dry with paper towels. Cut the filets into bite size pieces.

In a large glass jar with a lid, layer ½ of the onion slices on the bottom of the jar then top with ½ of the salmon pieces. Repeat with the remaining onion slices and salmon then pour the cooled brine on top. Close the lid on the jar and refrigerate for 1 day before serving.

Serve the pickled salmon on top of Norwegian flatbreads or crackers and top with the pickled onions, sour cream and fresh dill.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Nevada Berg

Nevada is a utah native and norwegian by heart. When not crafting culinary delights she enjoys her family time and tending to her animals. You most certainly can find her perusing her property for wild berries.

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  1. Karen says:

    My Norwegian Mother used to make this years ago when we lived in Alaska and had plenty of freshly caught Salmon. She also added large carrot slices to the recipe. My mouth watered with the remembered taste while reading your post and admiring the pictures. I had no idea it was so easy to make….but I will definitely be making it soon. Thanks for bringing back a childhood memory!

    • nevada says:

      What a lovely memory! Hope you enjoy making it!

    • Robert S. says:

      I just had this in the Vest Agder area at an old farmstead. The farmer said that it is traditionally salmon, but that the result is better with trout. After tasting it, I had to agree with her. Recommend trying this with trout next time. I am going to try this recipe with it next week when I get back home from Norway. Thanks for sharing!

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