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Swedish Fish and Preserved Prawns

Preserving fish doesn’t have to be hard. Do it the Swedish way and learn simple recipes such as fish gravadlax, pickled prawns, smoked prawns and mackerel.

| May/June 2020

Out of all of the preserving that we Swedes do, conserving fish must surely hold the highest position. Whenever there were guests to entertain, parties to be held or holidays to celebrate, this would be the time for gravadlax, pickled herring in a range of flavors, and smoked fish and seafood. Christmas, New Year’s, Easter and Midsummer tables are not quite the same without a selection to choose from.

Smoked-Prawns 
Photo by Yuki Sugiura

Then there is, of course, surströmming, literally “sour herring”. You might have heard about these bulging cans of fermented herring with their strong smell (so strong, in fact, that many believe it is illegal to open them in public places). Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t something that Swedes indulge in all that frequently; in fact, I’d venture to say that most haven’t even tried it. The more common ways we enjoy preserved fish are much more palatable (and legal). As the saying goes, surströmming is the only fish that is harder to eat than to catch.

 

Nonetheless, I can appreciate that the idea of preserving fish may seem intimidating, but rest assured that it is perfectly safe and not nearly as difficult as it sounds. I have included a few of my favorite recipes here which show off the fish in all its glory.



Smoked-Prawns 
Photo by Yuki Sugiura

I particularly love juicy, smoked prawns [shrimp] with a simple dip, ideal for eating outside on a balmy summer’s evening. Always use the best-quality, freshest fish you can find – ask your fishmonger for assistance.

 






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