Smoked eel canapés

Rökt ål kanapéer

Eel canapes

Smoked eel is a delicacy in Sweden and is often served as part of a buffet on special occasions. In the UK you can sometimes buy smoked eel at delicatessens or at good fishmongers. I recommend looking out for some and trying it when you see it. It is quite different to jellied eel, so don’t be put off trying it even if you don’t like jellied eels. John Duxbury


Recipe summary eel canapes


•  Buy “flat smoked” slices of eel if you can. These are smoked without the bone and sliced thinly. Although it is slightly more expensive it is less gelatinous, better value and highly recommended.

•  Use half-fat crème fraîche as there is enough fat in the eel, so it can take a half-fat version.

•  If you think your guests may be prejudiced against eel don’t tell them! I find most people like these canapés and are surprised to discover that they have been eating eel!

•  Use a good quality knäckebröd.  Some come in small boxes and have herbs or spices added.


½ red onion
1tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp granulated sugar
16 pieces of good quality knäckebröd
4 slices of flat smoked eel (giving a total length of about 15 cm (6")
  black pepper, freshly ground
3 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
  herbs for garnish, such as marjoram, chives or parsley


1. Put the finely chopped red onion in a small bowl. Add the vinegar and sugar and stir. Leave to marinate for about half an hour.

2. Break the knäckebröd into suitable sized pieces for canapés.

3. Cut the smoked eel into pieces about 2.5 cm x1 cm (1” x ½”). Place 1 piece of eel on half of each piece of knäckebröd. Season lightly with freshly ground black pepper.

4. Drain the onion and discard the marinade. Make sure it is well drained. Place a half teaspoon of the chopped onion on the other half of each piece of knäckebröd next to smoked eel.

5. Place a dollop of crème fraîche on top of the eel and onion.

6. Garnish with herb leaves and serve. (The canapés will keep for about an hour, but are best served fairly soon, otherwise the knäckebröd will become soggy.)


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