Crayfish with bread and mayo

Crayfish with bread and mayo

The Scandinavian Cookbook
Lars Ranek

The crayfish season is short: about 3 weeks in August. Furthermore, the Swedish crayfish are rare and expensive. People tend to boil them in beer and eat them outside in the garden with aquavit and beer. It is a wonderful way to celebrate life. I cook them in the morning and leave them to cool in the pot, then I pack a picnic basket and go down to the little lake near the house in Sweden where I often stay. It is so quiet and blissful that you almost forget everything around you and slip into a time-free zone.


Quantity Ingredient
6 litres water
1.5 litres dark beer, such as stout or brown ale
5 dill sprigs, plus extra to garnish
125g salt
50g caster sugar
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 lemon, sliced
3kg live crayfish

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
herb mayonnaise, (see note)
rye bread
crisp green salad


  1. Put all the ingredients except for the crayfish in a large pot and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the crayfish and return to the boil. Let it boil hard for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and leave the fish in the pot until the liquid is cold.
  2. Drain the crayfish and serve them cold, garnished with dill and accompanied by homemade herb mayo, rye bread, crisp green salad, beer and aquavit.


  • To make the herb mayonnaise, put 4 egg yolks in a small blender. Add the herbs, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 garlic and some salt and freshly ground pepper and blend for 5 minutes. Slowly add the 600 ml olive oil, drop by drop, blending until the mixture starts to thicken. Do not add the oil too quickly. Continue until the mayonnaise is thick and smooth, then adjust the seasoning to taste.
Trine Hahnemann
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