For those who have been to Denmark, it is almost certain that you have seen and maybe even tried smørrebrød. Smørrebrød is an open-faced rye bread sandwich which can have a variety of toppings including smoked salmon, pickled herring, meats and/or vegetables. This recipe for Danish Sandwiches with breaded plaice (Smørrebrød med paneret rødspætte) was recommended to me by my Danish friend Steffen. The original recipe comes from a restaurant called Aamann’s, which looks fantastic! I shall definitely be visiting Aamann’s whenever I have an opportunity to be in Copenhagen. And really, it’s a shame I did not know about it before, because I used to spend a lot of time in Copenhagen for a previous job.
I should add some disclaimers for this version of the recipe. It has been translated by me into English with British measurements. Also, the pickle and mayonnaise remoulade mixture has been simplified using my own recipe, because I couldn’t find the recipe. And lastly, the closest thing to rye bread we found was a sourdough rye load, but it is not as dark as the real Danish rye bread. If you want to watch the chef Doug Aamann explain the original recipe in Danish then you can find him on YouTube!
And one last recommendation for those in the UK is to try Pesky Fish for your fresh fish supply, including plaice. From this site, you can buy the catch of the day from British fisherman and the fish can be ordered already fileted. Delicious and fresh!
8 plaice filets, fileted without skin and without bones
200 ml water
145 g flour
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
80 g panko breadcrumbs (approximately)
100 g butter
100 ml sunflower oil
4 slices of rye bread
2 Tbsp unsalted butter to spread on the bread
1/2 lemon cut into 4 wedges
Pickled onions (optional)
Score each plaice filet in the middle horizontally but do not cut all the way through. Next, fold the fish in half so that it is doubled in thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine water and flour to make a smooth batter. Next, coat the fish filets in a thin layer of batter and then coat them immediately in the panko breadcrumbs.
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the fish fillets in butter and oil. Cook about two minutes on each side, until crisp and golden. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Repeat for all fish filets.
Spread butter on the rye bread. Place one or two warm fish filets on top of each bread, then add a heaping spoonful of remoulade, watercress and dill. Add onions, if desired. Then serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the top.
4-5 medium-sized cucumber pickles
1 tsp mild curry powder
200 ml homemade mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
Finely chop the pickles. Stir pickles, curry powder and mayonnaise together and season with salt and pepper.
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp Coleman’s English mustard powder
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sunflower or vegetable oil (~250 ml)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
In a medium sized bowl, add the egg and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add mustard, vinegar and salt. Then beat for another minute. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the mixture is blended.
Very slowly add drops of the oil and continue to beat the mixture. The mixture should start to thicken. As it thickens, continue to add oil very slowly and beat the mixture until all oil is added. Finally, add lemon juice and blend in with a spatula.
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