Recipe: How to make eggs with Swedish anchovies

Recipe: How to make eggs with Swedish anchovies
Eggs with Swedish Anchovies. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food
Food writer John Duxbury shares a recipe for eggs with Swedish anchovies.

Gubbröra is an easy, colourful egg and Swedish anchovies (ansjovis) starter that is one of Sweden’s most famous dishes. Gubbröra means Old Man's Mix and is designed to show off the anchovies.

Swedish anchovies are quite different to Mediterranean anchovies so you really do need to find the Swedish version. To confuse matters they are not really anchovies at all but sprats and are called skarpsill in IKEA! Also, bear in mind that although they are sold in tins they must be kept in a fridge and they have a much shorter shelf life than most tinned foods. 


Serves: 4

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking: 15 minutes

Total: 20 minutes


•  Don't season this dish with salt as there is already a lot of salt in the anchovies (sprats).

•  Gubbröra is also often served as an appetiser. In this case, serve a mouth-sized portion on a small round of thin dark rye bread and garnish with a small slice of lemon.

•  Swedes often add 2 or 3 tablespoons of Kalles Kaviar. As I find it akin to flavoured toothpaste I don't bother, but try it if you like it!


4 eggs

125 g (5 oz) tin of Swedish anchovies (sprats), or a 100 g (4 oz) tin

1 red onion, finely chopped

3 tbsp sour cream

3 tbsp crème fraiche

3 tbsp dill, finely chopped

3 tbsp chives, finely chopped

white pepper

4 slices of bread, preferably rye

salad for garnish


1. Hard boil the eggs and cool under running cold water to prevent the outside of the yolks discolouring. Remove the shells and roughly chop the eggs.

2. Drain the anchovies, but keep the juice. Using a pair of scissors, finely chop the anchovies. Add to the eggs along with the finely chopped onion, sour cream, crème fraiche, dill and chives.

3. Have a taste and add some white pepper and perhaps a little bit of the juice from the anchovies. Go easy on the juice as it can leave an after-taste and isn't to everyone's liking.

4. Toast the bread (optional). Divide the mixture between the four pieces of bread and garnish with salad.

Serving suggestion

A glass of snaps goes down very well with Gubbröra.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, editor and founder of Swedish Food.

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