Homemade Swedish Hovmastar Sauce

Gravlax with Hovmastar Sauce
© The Frynamic Duo

Hovmastar sauce is a bright and acidic Scandinavian condiment that elevates the natural flavors of seafood, especially smoked fish or prawns. The sauce comes together in minutes and keeps well in the refrigerator. It’s a great addition to any appetizer or smörgåsbord platter.

Makes: about 2 cups sauce • Time: 15 minutes


  • 3 Tbsp. chopped dill
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. Löfbergs coffee, cold
  • 1½ Tbsp. mustard (Liss Ellas sweet and hot mustard from the Sweden Box)
  • 1¼ cups canola oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper, preferably white
  • flatbread crackers, for serving (like Mörjö Deli crisps)
  • 12 oz. smoked salmon (gravlax), for serving



In a food processor, combine the dill and sugar. Blitz until well combined and fragrant. Add the lemon juice, honey, coffee, and mustard and pulse in 15 second increments until well combined.

With the food processor still running, add the oil in a very slow stream until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, then chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Serve the sauce with flatbread crisps and gravlax.


Emma Bengtsson is the curator of the Sweden Box. Originally from a small town on Sweden’s western coast, she grew up learning the secrets of Nordic cuisine from her grandmother. After discovering her talent for pastries and working in a variety of notable restaurants in Sweden, she moved to New York and led Aquavit to become a two-star Michelin restaurant as its executive chef.

Emma Bengtsson

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