Swedish Toast Skagen combines prawns and toast to create an elegant appetizer (or a sumptuous Swedish brunch). It sounds like a simple dish, and in some ways it is. But there’s a beauty to simplicity. And this upgrade to your standard prawns on toast recipe is a lovely example of it. Also, roe. You get to use roe.
Hey bestie! Quick disclosure: This post is sponsored by Williams Sonoma Canada. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!
Okay bestie, time for a little real talk…Skagen toast is a bit boujee. In a good way. I mean, how often do you get a chance to say you had roe for breakfast? Like, are you planning to fly to Monaco for a quick weekend getaway too?
(…I’m not. I’m not flying anywhere. Instead, I’m sitting at home dreaming up ways to make the “Help Riz Live Out His Boujee Dreams Foundation” become a reality.)
Sorry, where were we? Oh right, boujee toast, I mean…Toast Skagen!
I’m joking, bestie. This doesn’t actually have to be overly fancy at all. Sure…you could top your prawns with caviar, but really any roe will do. And if roe isn’t accessible to you, just skip it. You’ll still have something delicious in front of you.
What is toast Skagen
Toast Skagen is a Swedish appetizer – you can think of it as the Swedish version of prawns on toast. It was invented by Tore Wretman, founder of the Sweden’s Gastronomic Academy, in 1958 while he was sailing through Skagen (a town in northern Denmark).
As the story goes, Wretman’s sails suddenly lost wind, leading to his crew becoming unhappy. To cheer them up, he whisked together mayonnaise, dill, and shrimp, and piled the concoction high on to a slice of butter-fried bread…and then topped it with caviar. (Yup, that would cheer me up too.)
Now, while some recipes from the 50s haven’t aged all that well, this simple appetizer remains a fresh and modern recipe that will look great on any platter. I think it’s actually perfect for dinners and potlucks.
How to pronounce toast Skagen
It can vary slightly based on region, but typically toast Skagen is pronounced as “skah-guhn” (the toast isn’t silent…it’s just “toast”).
How to make it
One of the best things about this Swedish toast is that there’s really not much to it. Your primary ingredients are:
- Shrimp (or prawns)
- Fresh dill
- Bread (pumpernickel for the win!)
It’s worth mentioning that as there are so few components, you will benefit from using the best quality of each ingredient available to you. All you need to do to prepare the dish is mix the first three ingredients, spoon them on to some buttered bread, and top with a bit of the roe. Easy peasy!
What is skagenrora
When talking about this popular Swedish toast recipe, you may come across the term skagenröra – it means Skagen mix i.e. the mixture of shrimp, mayonnaise, and dill, which is often used to top other foods as well. I read that in Gothenburg, you can get your hot dog topped with skagenröra!
You may also hear the term, räkröra (prawn mix) to refer to the same thing.
What kind of roe/caviar to use
Toast Skagen is often served with Caviar of Kalix but realistically, you’ll be fine using whatever roe is available to you. Golden whitefish caviar is a much easier to obtain alternative. And, in case you’re not accustomed to the flavour of roe, golden whitefish also has a mild, clean taste.
In fact, if you’re someone that’s never tried roe/caviar, or aren’t sure whether you’d like it, I’d recommend reducing the amount you use on your own toast.
There are plenty of variations to toast Skagen – for a start, my version uses pumpernickel bread, which is technically a variation.
But why, Riz? Why would you use pumpernickel bread for this Toast Skagen recipe?
Well, because it’s delicious. If you’ve not discovered pumpernickel bread, you’ve not lived. And as a bonus, the darker colour of the bread provides a nice contrast to the brightly-coloured roe.
Here are a few more ideas using skagenröra:
- Skagenrora as a topping for jacket potatoes, or potato pancakes.
- A spicier version of this Swedish toast that adds horseradish to the Skagen mixture.
- If you’re looking to save a few calories, some low-fat crème fraiche makes a still-delicious substitute to the mayonnaise.
- The no-roe version. Honestly, getting roe can be a bit pricey or just be a bit of a headache, so I go no-roe nine times out of ten when I’m at home.
Picking your prawns
It’s okay to use either prawns or shrimp for this recipe. I recommend using small precooked shrimp, but you can make it work with raw shrimp too (just make sure to cook it properly, please…and also let it cool before mixing it with the other ingredients).
If you choose to go with larger shrimps or prawns, I’d recommend using a large slice of bread as the base!
Now, bestie. There is one very important point that I’m told I must tell you. In fact, I was told (by an old Swedish colleague) that I must tell you “firmly”, that you must only use hand-shelled prawns for this recipe.
Hand-shelled prawns are tastier. But they’re also a labour-intensive process. So…you do you, bestie.
More things to cook
Here are a few other recipes you might enjoy:
- Easy Pecan Pie with Williams Sonoma Canada
- Baked Brie with Honey & Crushed Pistachios
- Cheesy Oeufs en Cocotte
- Cloud Eggs
- Lemon Fettuccine with Garlic Shrimps
I love Williams Sonoma. The Williams Sonoma store in Toronto’s Eaton Centre is actually my happy place in the mall. It’s been one of my favourite stores for a long time, and I’m super excited to have partnered with them for this post. Here’s a list of the Williams Sonoma Canada products featured in this post:
Now it’s your turn, bestie! Have you heard of Swedish Toast Skagen before? Have you made it? What do you think? Comment below and let me know!
Disclaimer: This recipe post has been sponsored by Williams Sonoma Canada. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!Print