In Denmark, there is a dish called “biksemad” that basically throws chopped potatoes, roots, onions, and assorted meats together into a skillet to fry up and serve. It was most likely born as a good way to use up scraps and leftovers for a quick hearty meal. But it doesn’t always have to be the heavy “brown” fare that many locals might think of when they imagine biksemad. This is a fresh Spring twist on the old classic, with warm-smoked salmon, egg, and fresh herbs to serve up for brunch or dinner. Serve it directly in the skillet for a rustic feel.
Photographs: Andreas Wiking
Text: Erin Chapman
BIKSEMAD: (pronounced “bik-sa-mel”) The term “biksemad” basically means “food which has been mixed together” in Danish, and it’s a well-known old school fare in the rest of Scandinavia as well. “Pyttipanna” (Swedish), “Pyttipanne” (Norwegian), or pyttipannu (Finnish), all basically translate to "small pieces in pan”. In English, it’s best known as “hash”. Typically served with pickled beets and topped with a fried egg, classic Danish biksemad would consist of leftover bits of roast meat, potatoes and onion. However, when it comes to flavour combinations, you can literally throw together anything you wish. Try spicy chorizo and red bell peppers, or large chunks of zucchini and sweet corn for a vegetarian twist.
Smoked salmon skillet
600-900 g new potatoes 1-2 teaspoons sea or flake salt 4-5 spring onions 300 g warm-smoked salmon (varm røget laks) 2-3 tablespoons olive oil freshly ground black pepper 2-4 eggs 2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, lightly chopped 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped Watercress and lemon wedges for garnish Creme fraiche for serving on the side
1. Rinse the potatoes. Cut into large bite-size pieces, leaving the skin on. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the chopped potatoes and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, but not overcooked. Drain the potatoes and set aside. 2. Meanwhile, dice the spring onions and set aside. Pull the salmon into large bite-size pieces. Set aside. 3. In a cast iron or oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and fry the potatoes until golden brown (about 15 minutes). 4. Preheat the oven to 175 C. 5. Gently toss in the spring onions and the smoked salmon into the skillet with the potatoes and cook a couple of minutes more. Add salt and black pepper to your taste. Stir carefully to incorporate but not smash the potatoes until browned. 6. Remove from heat. Make 2-4 small pressed-in flattened areas into the potato mixture. 7. Gently crack an egg into each indentation and carefully place the skillet into the pre-heated oven. Sprinkle eggs with a pinch of salt. 8. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the egg is done to your liking. 9. Chop the fresh dill and parsley. 10. Serve immediately in the skillet, sprinkled with fresh dill and parsley, lemon wedges and a side of creme fraiche.