Swedish Crab Canapes

Ok, I know I’m really pushing this whole Scandinavian food thing here. Most people weren’t really turned on to the Norwegian Veal Scallops in Cream Sauce.

Why? I have no idea, because when you actually try them you’ll truly enjoy veal in a whole new way you’ve not probably tried before. Open minds and open taste buds are critical aspects of the food-pleasure marriage.

I’m not the only one who needs a reminder to try new things. Sometimes we just get too comfortable or too lazy to make something new and ‘exotic’ to us.

Enough said.

I’m definitely new to savoring as well as preparing all things Scandinavian, but I have tried some nice things at Ikea, like their open-faced shrimp sandwich–ok, I’m sure Swedes out there will bash me for saying that’s real Scandinavian cuisine, but other than a few Swedish pancakes made by my college roommate many moons ago, I really haven’t opened my tastebuds to such a wonderful and fresh array of flavor in a long time.

I’ve been yearning for something different. Different to me.

Which is why I thought you must also just give these Swedish Crab Canapés a try, especially if you’re too comfortable or too lazy to invite guests over for a light snack or appetizers. No one will know how easy it was, but insha’allah they’ll love that you went slightly out of your way to serve something a bit different.

(This very simple recipe was in last month’s issue of MB Muslima magazine as part of the Scandinavian Cuisine featured in My Halal Kitchen‘s monthly food contribution)

This is not only a wonderful party appetizer, but can also be a healthy snack. If you want an alternative to a tuna sandwich, spread the crab mixture onto large pieces of bread and make yourself a sandwich out of it.





Swedish Crab Canapes

(Makes 2 dozen appetizers or 3-4 sandwiches)


6 ounces (170 grams) real crab meat
1 tablespoon white grape or apple juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon small capers
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
24 quarter-size crackers or 6 pieces of large toasted bread, preferably rye or pumpernickel
In a large mixing bowl, combine the crab meat, juice, sea salt, dill and capers. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. When it begins to froth, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until you’ve made a roux*, or paste. Keep stirring until you’ve removed all the lumps. Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, crack the egg yolk and add the heavy cream. Whisk both ingredients together then add this mixture to the roux you just made. Stir until smooth. You’ve just made a sauce.
Add the sauce to the crab meat mixture. Use a fork to separate the crab meat and blend into the sauce, then use a large spoon to finish mixing, until all ingredients are well combined. Taste for seasoning at this point and add anything you feel is needed.
Dollop crab mixture onto crackers or toast for appetizers or spread mixture onto large pieces of bread for sandwiches.
*a roux is a blend of fat (in this case, butter) and flour done to create a thickener for sauces.


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  1. I don’t know about everyone else, but the Scandinavian dishes look very tasty. Problem is, I’m veg… Not sure how to adapt them 🙁

  2. I bet that is great!! I don’t eat meat so I’ll have to see how it might be done meatless. 🙂

    Caraboska….if you come up with something to substitute meat in the Scandinavian dishes, please post it here? I agree, their food looks good, but they seem rely on meat a lot. Wonder what the vegs eat there?? 🙂

  3. There are soy products in various forms – dried soy in various shapes for example, as well as various kinds of tofu.

    One caution here: Need to go easy on the dried soy cubes/patties/etc. because they contain a particularly high proportion of isoflavones (plant estrogens) and can affect your cycle (and if, God forbid, your gynecologist gets the idea to give you progesterone to even out the proportions, you could end up with breast cancer, as I found out from experience some years ago). But a little bit every so often probably won’t do any harm – just if you notice anything unusual about your cycle (heavier or closer together), cut back.

    Other types of soy – e.g. the firmer forms of tofu – seem not to have so much of a problem in this area. Tofu doesn’t seem to cause any changes in my cycle.

    There are also of course legumes. I would be tempted to use coarsely mashed chickpeas to substitute for the crab here. And lentils do pretty nicely for ground meat (in tomato sauces for example).

    I admit that I am also tempted to use portobello mushrooms as a substitute for any kind of meat (e.g. veal) which is to be prepared in some kind of flat form. Presumably one could then either add some silken tofu to the sauce to provide protein, or serve the with a salad that contains chickpeas or some other legume to make up the difference. The question (for me) is, where to get portobellos (or, for that matter, silken tofu) in Eastern Europe…

    1. To some, many Muslims, crab and scallops are definitely halal because they follow the hadith of Rasullalah in which he says that everything from the sea is allowed for us. There is at least one madhab that says shellfish is makrooh (disliked). In any event, I do not claim to be a scholar so I refer the final say to those with more knowledge than myself.

  4. Salaam aleikom! I’m Swedish, and I just found this website. It looks really good! As for this dish, I have never made it but we do enjoy our fresh crab, shrimp and other seafood here. As for other dishes, it is true as someone stated above that we like to use meat. We have several months of winter every year and hardy root veg such as potatoes and, well swedes, plus salted meats (yup pork, hamdulillah I didn’t have to face that) and fish (herring) was what we had to rely on for a long time. Then fridges/freezers and in general a higher living standard came along and we could get more variation, but some habits die hard. It is recommended that we fill most of the plate with veg and potatoes/pasta/rice or equivalent before adding meat though. I don’t mind a vegetarian meal – but my husband, a non-Swede, wants some kind of meat or fish with his meals.

    1. Hi Petronella, thank you so much for visiting! I love Swedish foods (minus the pork, of course), as you can see in some of my recipes here on this site. Do you live in Sweden now?

  5. Salam! So glad to have found you (via Sisters Magazine). The idea of all these tempting recipes that I don’t have to modify! 🙂
    I’m hosting a book club soon and these canapes look perfect for evening appetizers, will be trying them soon inshaAllah.

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