When I was a kid growing up in Sydney, the old Circular Quay on Sydney harbour has a heap of old school food vendors on each of the wharves. One of the treats I remember having was a prawn salad roll. Basically prawns in mayonnaise on a fair average crusty bread roll. But it was seen as a treat by my brother and I on the rare occasion our parents tooks us in to the 'city' for a ferry trip or a day at the zoo. These days I think back fondly on those days although I doubt those prawn rolls were as good as I remember.
Many years later I was having a chat with one of my closest friends, a Swede, about those prawn rolls and he said it sounded like a Swedish dish, skagen, roughly translated shrimp on toast. A mayonnaise based prawn salad created allegedly in the 1950 by some chef on a boat during a dead calm with whatever he had available.
The original recipe was simply a combination of prawns (shrimp), mayonnaise, onion, mustard, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Over the years various chefs have tweaked and twisted the recipe to seemingly improve it or give it a personal touch. However if you want to stay traditional go with the above using the approximate amounts as per the recipe below, I can say you will not be disappointed with the simplicity. Skagen in Sweden it is pretty much a staple on every pub, bar and restaurant menu as a starter.
As always I have played around and tried a variety of different recipes and finally coming to the one below which suits me and more importantly the family and friends I cook for. I really liked the addition of ingredients such as horseradish and the fish roe, but this is not always for everyone. So in this instance check out the tips and alternatives as there are a few depending on your personal tastes. Now in one of my shameless plugs if you like this sort of seafood salad you can also check out my Tangy Lobster Salad recipe. Both of these are interchangeable with the seafood meat you wish to use.