Salmon Gravad laks with crab, beetroot and fresh dill ‘Smørrebrød’

In September I went to Copenhagen to run the Copenhagen half marathon. It was one of the most extraordinary days of my life. My first run on foreign soils and a whole lot of rain. The race had a back drop of rumbling thunder and then a biblical downpour which left me running the last 1km or so through a foot of water and the race being stopped just after I finished.


I had a limited amount of time in Copenhagen. I saw Noma, I saw boats and I had a Smørrebrød. A danish open sandwich eaten everywhere.


This came from the Copenhagen street food market right next to the opera house in the heart of tourist Copenhagen. A great place to have a beer, a coffee and food from all over the world. A friend of mine said they were planning to close it down. Quite a loss but I’m sure it’ll be replaced somewhere else in the city. This Smørrebrød had a piece of battered fried fish, prawns, asparagus and a mayonnaise. It was delicious.

Once back in the UK I wanted to create my own and in the end decided to use it at Neston as a really nice lunch option. It went down really well.


Danish Smørrebrød with Salmon & beetroot Gravad laks, crab mayonaisse and fresh dill.

For the Gravad laks

1kg fresh salmon (i like to use skinless) – the freshness is important so try to pick it up from a fishmonger or from the counter at a supermarket. I like to use tail pieces as they’re thinner and cure quicker.

100g flaky seasalt

50g dark brown sugar

50g caster sugar

1tbsp black pepper

squeeze of honey

1 large raw red beetroot (grated)

1 lemon (juice only)

Thoroughly wash your salmon and then pat dry. Now, simply evenly coat all the over ingredients onto the salmon. Cover tightly and place into the fridge. Turn and check a couple of times a day. Leave for at least 2 days, longer if you have used thicker pieces of salmon. It will firm up and of course turn purple.

For the crab mayo

approx 200g 50/50 white crab meat and brown crab meat – you can get this in most supermarkets – you don’t need much for a couple of sarnies so dont spend too much money!

1 tbsp good quality shop bought mayo

juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper

mix all ingredients in a bowl

To make the Smørrebrød

Serves 2

2 well toasted pieces of bread. Traditionally you should use rye bread which you can get but a nice sourdough works just as well. Allowed to cool.

drizzle of rapeseed oil (or a good quality olive oil)

a handful of thin slices of your gravad laks

2 tbsp of crab mayo

4 whole lettuce leaves – use whatever you like. I used lollo rosso but an iceberg or little gem would be great.

sprinkling of toasted seeds -pumpkin is great

handful of fresh dill

Drizzle rapeseed oil over your toast. Then put your leaves on the bread topped with the crab mayo and gravad laks. Garnish with a generous handful of dill. The dill brings it all together and makes the dish for me. Top with seeds and a pinch of sea salt.