• Yield: Serves 8

  • Time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour resting prep

Mixing smoked fish with sour cream and lemon is a simple way of making something seriously delicious to eat. Here I’ve combined it with one of my other favourite creamy foods – a remoulade made from celeriac, which loves a cold climate and grows very well in Baltic countries.

This recipe makes a great starter if you are entertaining but is equally good to have to hand as a snack in the refrigerator – if well covered it will keep for days and the flavours will come together even better over time (just remember to give it a good mix through before serving). It’s also excellent on crispbread.


  • 1/2 celeriac (approx. 400 g/14 oz), trimmed

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • 200 g (7 oz) smoked fish (such as mackerel), flaked

  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) mayonnaise

  • 3 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill (optional)

  • grilled or toasted rye sourdough, to serve

  • lamb’s lettuce (corn salad), watercress leaves or cucumber slices, to serve

Baltic by Simon Bajada


Peel the celeriac and cut it into quarters. Using a mandoline or a sharp knife, slice the celeriac pieces very finely, then cut the slices into matchsticks no more than 1 cm (1/2 in) thick. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle over the salt and toss together well. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, rinse the celeriac well under running water to remove the salt, then roll it up in a clean tea towel (dish towel) and give it a squeeze to remove any excess moisture. Return to the bowl, add the lemon juice, flaked smoked fish, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard and dill, if using, and mix everything together well. Check for seasoning and leave to sit, covered, for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Serve the remoulade with grilled or toasted rye sourdough and some lamb’s lettuce, watercress or cucumber slices.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Baltic by Simon Bajada, published by Hardie Grant October 2019, RRP $35.00 Hardcover.