Danish shrimp salad

Danish shrimp salad

This traditional Danish shrimp salad is such a simple dish to make, and yet it is so delicious. The best shrimp are the tiny North Atlantic shrimp or Maine shrimp. Their delicate flavor doesn’t require much but a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of mayonnaise. If you can’t get small shrimp where you are, you can take larger ones and chop them up. Traditionally, they are served on top of the smørrebrød rye bread as an open-face sandwich, eaten with a fork and knife. You can easily replace the bread with a paleo version, or simply with some butter lettuce.


1 pound small North Atlantic shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup mayonnaise (homemade is best!)
salt and pepper, to taste
dash of paprika
1 or 2 squeezes of lemon juice from a fresh lemon
one ribbon of lemon rind (optional)
1/4 cup chives,  chopped (optional)
a few sprigs dill (optional)
a few sprigs watercress (optional)
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
paleo bread (optional), thinly sliced
butter, ghee or Earth’s Balance soy-free buttery spread (optional)
1/2 cup of butter lettuce leaves


In a small pot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add the shrimp, turn to medium-low and cook until they just turn opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes.

The construction of Danish smørrebrød, is an art in and of itself the assembly of these open-faces sandwiches is often written with very particular instructions. For instance, from the Danish Cook Book by the Solums family in regards to the bread, “butter must be spread on very thick and not even the tiniest corner of the buttered bread may show beneath the fillings you pile on.” Did I mention that the Danes really love their butter?

As for the shrimp salad, after buttering your bread (if you are using), you are then advised to “cut it into 3 triangle shaped pieces. Place a small piece of lettuce on the small corner.” Next, place the sliced hard boiled eggs on top of the butter. Then, pile the shrimp “at least an inch high over the entire surface of the rest of the bread. Place a dot of mayonnaise on top and then a slice of lemon that had been sprinkled with paprika  and twisted so it will stand high.”

If you don’t have the time to get fancy (or you’re just serving for yourself), you can simply squeeze some lemon on the shrimp and mayonnaise, then a dash of paprika, before garnishing with chives, dill or watercress.


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