Swedish Shrimp – Skagenrora in Swedish- uses Baltic baby shrimp that are sweet, light flavoured and absolutely delicious. If you are not in Scandinavia look for frozen salad shrimp. They are small, sweet and delicious too!
In Canada Matane shrimp (or any fresh, cold water baby shrimp) are an excellent choice. Cold water shrimp have a kind of creaminess to them that the larger prawns just don’t have.
So.. in full disclosure – I first had this memorable salad-on-top-of-a-piece-of-bread in Nyhavn, Copenhagen. You know the photos of the coloured houses, outdoor dining patios that line the famous canal.
The area is called Nyhavn and dates back to the 17th century. Hans Christian Anderson lived at #67 -across the canal from the restaurants from 1845-64. The house is marked by a plaque.
Another fun Danish fact- do you know how big the famous statue of The Little Mermaid is?
Another full disclosure – there is a Danish Shrimp that seems to have a far less creamy dressing, with variations to add pickled red onion or even beets. Mine didn’t look like that in the restaurant and the copious flecks of fresh dill were certainly very prominent. So when I went about trying to recreate the dish I remember so fondly from that meal- the Swedish Shrimp approach seemed to be more like what I had.
Chef’s Tips for Swedish Shrimp
- Use the best baby shrimp available to you but avoid the tinned cocktail shrimp version if you can.
- If you are fortunate enough to live close to the sea -lucky for you! If you are using frozen be sure to squeeze the excess moisture out of the shrimp after defrosting. Otherwise you will have a runny salad.
- The drops of hot sauce, as written are still quite subtle. They really just ‘liven’ it up a bit. I wouldn’t increase the amount or you will lose the delicate flavour of the baby shrimp.
- Fresh dill fronds here really are a must since they are part of the signature of the dish.
- You can serve this on fresh baguette slices, crostini or crackers. Crust-less pumpernickel is another classic choice. Note that Scandinavian ‘sandwiches’ are traditionally open-faced.
- You can also serve this in a serving dish and let people top their own.
- To serve as a main course, divide shrimp mixture into 4 equal portions and serve on a lettuce leaf if desired with bread or your choice.
Wine Pairing for Swedish Shrimp Sandwich
The inherent sweetness of the baby shrimp and creamy dressing would be delicious with a Pinot Gris or off-dry Riesling here. A round white Grenache or Muscadet Sèvre et Maine would be nice as well.
An off -dry Rose´ with some herbal notes would also be a good complement to it.
Swedish Shrimp Sandwich
- 1 lb frozen baby shrimp or fresh, cleaned if you can get it!
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp sour cream
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp fresh dill fronds chopped
- 3 drops hot sauce I used Frank's
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pinch white pepper optional
- 16 baguette slices see below for main course variation.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp red onion, minced optional
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Brush the baguette slices on both sides with olive oil and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Turn slices half way through. Cool. Crostini can be made ahead and stored in air tight container up to a week.
- Defrost baby shrimp and squeeze out excess moisture. Do not skip this step or your shrimp salad mixture will be runny rather than creamy.
- Mix all ingredients except bread and olive oil, in a bowl and mix well.
- Top the cooled crostini with a Tablespoon or so of the shrimp salad mixture and serve.
- You can serve the shrimp salad on unbaked, fresh baguette slices or allow guests to spoon the salad on their bread or crackers themself.
- This is delicious served on pumpernickel bread, trimmed of crusts.
- For a main course it will serve 4 people. Serve atop lettuce leaf if desired and pass bread selection separately.