Seafood is king during summertime dining in Scandinavia. People are not inclined to spend hours preparing and cooking elaborate dishes when it’s warm outside; after all, summers are so short in the region and everyone needs to top up their vitamin D.

This superb barbecued prawns dish is taken from ours and Signe Johansen‘s cookbook Smörgåsbord  and is one that easily scales up to feed a crowd.


Serves 4

1kg (2lb 4oz) fresh shell-on tiger prawns

Olive oil

Lemon wedges, to serve


For the tartare sauce:

100g (3½oz) crème fraiche

3 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ unwaxed lemon, zest and juice

2 tarragon stems, leaves picked and finely chopped

Small bunch of dill, finely chopped (about ½ tbsp)

1 tbsp chopped gherkins

1 tbsp chopped capers

Lemon wedges, to serve



Begin by making the sauce. Mix the crème fraiche together with the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon zest and a squeeze of juice, the herbs, gherkins and capers. Taste, adjusting the lemon juice and herbs according to preference, then season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until needed.

Soak several bamboo skewers in water, ensuring they are completely covered, for at least 30 minutes to prevent them burning on the barbecue. Meanwhile, remove the shells and heads from the prawns but keep the tails. Devein the prawns and thread onto the skewers, about 4–5 prawns per skewer.

Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat the barbecue or griddle pan and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side, until pink and cooked through.

Serve the barbecued prawns immediately with lemon wedges and the tartare sauce for dipping.


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