Norwegian Smørbrød

One of the first festive dishes I remember my mom making and even me helping with is Norwegian Smørbrød. Smørbrød is a traditional Norwegian treat at many festive occations. My mom would make them for homeparties, celebrations of various kinds. Also we used to bring them to the Prayerhouse, “Bedehuset,” on sundays when there were coffee and food. All the people coming would make a tray with cakes or sandwiches and share a festive meal after the meeting. Smørbrød could also be food at funerals. Yes they would suit any festive or memorable occation serving a lot of people or just a few. The great thing is they can be prepared in advance and served cold. I recreated them like she used to make them.

Smørbrød can be made after your own liking. It is important they look delicious and inviting. Here are some toppings that are common in Norway.

Smørbrød with Karbonade (a special burger made from ground beef)

Smørbrød with Salmon

Smørbrød with eggs and shrimps

To make Smørbrød

  • Use white bread or any bread you like
  • Spread with butter and cut in triangles
  • Put a sallad leaf on the bread than add the topping (the sallad is decorative but also prevent the bread from taking in any moist that could be in your topping and that would make the bread soggy while waiting to be eaten.
  • For Karbonade smørbrød you put the Karbonade on top of the sallad leaf than top with glaced onions or you can use sliced red beets and pickles. Most common in Norway is glaced onions.
  • You can make sandwiches with Salmon, cut tomatoes and thin sliced cucumbers.
  • You can make egg and shrimp sandwiches. Cut the eggs in slices and top with shrimps and caviar and decorate with thin slices of cucumbers.

To make beautiful and delicious smørbrød use your creativity and your own taste. Decorate with cucumbers, tomatoes, dill, parsley, beets, caviar, anything you like and that can make it tasty and pretty.

To make Karbonade:

  • 1 kg ground beef (get ground beef with as little fat as possible)
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 2 tbs potato starch
  • 1-2 dl cold water
  • 1 ts pepper


Mix the ingredients and make round beefs with your hands. Flatten the beefs and make a cutting pattern all over on both sides so they are thin and flat. They should even be formed a little oval in shape. Fry in butter in a frying pan on both sides. They can be served warm on the sandwich or cold.

To make glaced onions:

Cut yellow onions in thin slices

Fry on low heat in a frying pan with butter and a little sugar until golden and shiny.

Decorate the Karbonade smørbrød with a topping of glaced onion.

Smørbrød should not be too big if you serve various toppings, since you want people to be able to eat several, not just taste one. If you want it to be a meal you can make them larger. Anyways they should be larger than an apetizer so half a slize of bread is a normal size when on a buffé.

Tribute to Mom

Shrimp, egg, meatball and turkey Smørbrød.

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