Danish Open-faced Sandwich – Shooting Star (Stjerneskud)

The Danish open-faced Sandwich or smørrebrødet is probably the most iconic Danish dish out there. This lunch-time delicacy can be found in cafes and restaurants all over Denmark. And unlike American sandwiches, smørrebrød are eaten with a knife and fork.

This particular sandwich, named the ‘shooting star’ or stjerneskud, has just about every form of seafood in the book! Try making this traditional dish at home for a truly Danish experience.

Shooting Star (Stjerneskud)


Serves 4


1/2 cup crème fraîche (18% fat) or substitute full-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

2 tablespoons tomato puree

1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste

Dash of cayenne pepper

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


8 plaice fillets (if plaice is unavailable, flounder is an excellent substitute)

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup water

1 egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup plain bread crumbs

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


6 green asparagus, trimmed*

4 ounces small shrimp, boiled and peeled

3 ounces of bleak roe (Kalix löjrom), if unavailable substitute salmon, trout, or lumpfish roe

To Serve

4 slices of Danish rye bread or

sourdough bread, to serve


Lettuce (such as green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, or Lollo Bionda)

12 thin slices of cucumber (for garnish)

1 lemon, cut into slices or wedges

Fresh dill


For the dressing

Whisk together the crème fraîche, mayonnaise, and tomato puree. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

For the steamed fish fillets

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pat four of the fish fillets dry with paper towels. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper, roll each fillet into a coil and fasten with a toothpick. Place the fillets in a small oven-proof dish or sauté pan. Pour the white wine and water over them. Place in the oven and steam the fish fillets for about 10 to 15 minutes.

For the fried fish fillets

Combine bread crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Pat the remaining 4 fish fillets dry with a paper towel. Season each fillet with salt and pepper. One at a time, dip fillets first in beaten egg and then in bread crumb mixture, pressing down to adhere coating. Set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil and 1½ tablespoon butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When butter stops foaming, place 2 fillets in skillet and cook until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook on second side until thickest part of fillet easily separates into flakes when pierced with paring knife, about 2 minutes. Transfer fillets to heated platter. Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining oil, butter, and fish.

For the green asparagus

Heat ½ tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. When butter has melted, add half of asparagus to skillet with tips pointed in one direction; add remaining spears with tips pointed in opposite direction. Using tongs distribute spears in even layer. Cover and cook until asparagus is bright green and still crisp, about 3 minutes.

Uncover and increase heat to medium-high; season asparagus with salt and pepper. Cook until spears are tender and well browned along one side, about 3 minutes, using tongs to occasionally move spears from center of pan to edge of pan to ensure all are browned.

To serve

Serve with buttered Danish rye bread. Top with lettuce, one fried and one steamed fish fillet, asparagus, dressing, dill, lemon slices/wedges, cucumber slices, the bleak roe, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

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