Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Smoked Salmon with Swedish Mustard Sauce

Traditional Swedish mustard sauce, called hovmästarsås, is traditionally a combination of Dijon mustard, sugar, vegetable oil, white vinegar, and chopped dill weed. It’s a sweet, mild mixture, so there’s more accent on the sugar than the vinegar, or especially tangy mustards. You can use other mustards—or a combination, as in this recipe—but skip the bright yellow stuff. You won’t find that in Swedish-style mustards.

Smoking your own salmon is easy to do—and so rewarding on the dinner table. Choose fairly thick pieces of fish and let them smoke over indirect medium heat. They’ll be tender, juicy, and loaded with wonderful smoky flavor in about 30 minutes.

Note: This is called “hot smoking” because of the temperature—around 250° to 300°F. You can cold-smoke salmon too, which can take several hours or even a couple days, depending on how low the temperature is and how big the fish is.

Also note: This mustard sauce make more than you’ll need for two or three servings. Refrigerate the leftover and serve it with roasted potatoes or grilled pork chops within a few days.

And a tip: Add the oil to the other sauce ingredients slowly and just a little at a time, combining each drizzle before adding more. Otherwise, it may separate and result in a not-so-creamy consistency.

Serves 2-3

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • sea salt
  • finely ground black pepper
  • 2 8-oz salmon filets, skin on 1 side, about 1-inch thick
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil, plus more for rubbing grill grate
  • 2 tsp finely chopped dill weed
Salmom Filets
  1. Combine the brown sugar with a generous amount of salt and pepper in a bowl. Rub the mixture over the flesh of the filets and refrigerate 1-2 hours. Pat the filets dry with paper towels (the marinade will draw juices from the fish) and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before smoking.
Salmon Rubbed with Marinade
Marinated Salmon
  1. Combine both mustards, sugar, and vinegar in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil a little at a time to incorporate completely.
  2. Stir in the dill and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
Mustard Mixture 
Oil Added
Swedish Mustard Sauce
  1. Meanwhile, light a smoker for medium heat (or prepare your gill for smoking).
  2. After adding the wood chips, rub the off-heat side of the grill grate with oil and place the salmon filets on it skin-side down. Smoke until tender and just cooked through (still opaque in the middle), 30 minutes, depending on your grill temperature. 
  3. Lift the salmon off its skin with a spatula and transfer to a plate. Let rest 5 minutes.
Salmon Beginning to Smoke
Smoked Salmon
To serve, drizzle the salmon with mustard sauce, or serve the sauce alongside.

Smoked Salmon with Swedish Mustard Sauce


  1. Yum! I love smoked salmon, but have never made it myself. I need to try this!

    1. Thanks, Carlee! Yes, homemade smoked salmon is the best. Easy too!

      Hope you enjoy,