Hansen and Lydersen History and Craft

The Salmon 

Preparing the salmon for saltingAt Hansen & Lydersen, we smoke salmon the true Norwegian way.

We source our salmon from a sustainable farm in the extreme wilderness between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic, and ensure we prepare it less than 48 hours after it has been fished. We are extremely demanding with our suppliers when it comes to sustainable harvesting standards and welfare practices. This is the best farmed salmon in the world from one of the last family run fish farms.  

Ole at the Smokehouse in North LondonEach Hansen & Lydersen salmon is carefully hand-filleted and hand-salted according to a family recipe devised by Norwegian fishmonger Lyder-Nilsen Lydersen in 1923. 

It is then traditionally hung and slowly cold-smoked in the brick kiln of our Stoke Newington smokehouse where it moves in the wind for 12 hours. We use a unique blend of juniper and beech wood for a pleasantly sharp and piquant aroma. Our wood shavings are responsibly sourced, 100% pure wood – with zero chemicals.

Our salmon is always made to order, and delivered pure and fresh out of the kiln. We never freeze it, we never vacuum-pack it, and we never wrap it in plastic.

The resulting salmon is intensely delicious, strong-coloured and smooth textured: a must-try if you haven’t already!



Readying the smoke roomThe Hansen & Lydersen family recipe was devised in 1923 by fishmonger Lyder-Nilsen Lydersen.

Born in 1886, Lyder-Nilsen was a salmon fisherman in Kirkenes, a small town in Norway’s county of Finnmark, situated some 240 miles north of the Arctic Circle. His smoked salmon recipe, using a subtle mixture of juniper and beech woods, turned out a great local success in and around the Varanger Fjord.
His son Leif Lydersen, born in 1916, took over the family business in 1962, teaching his two daugthers Lil and Bodil how to smoke his traditional Kirkenes salmon. The sisters did not carry on with the smoked salmon business. Lil married Hans-Otto Hansen and moved down to the southern city of Stavanger.

It is her son, Ole Hansen, who has now brought his great-grandfather’s recipe to London.

 Ole now runs the family smokehouse in Stoke Newington, North London. True to 4 generations of Hansen and Lydersen craft, he insists on producing his salmon according to the long-standing smoking traditions that have made his family’s success for over 80 years.



Hanging the salmon

We produce our salmon according to long-standing smoking traditions, true to 4 generations of Hansen and Lydersen craft. 

The smokehouse is located on Shelford Place, in Stoke Newington, North London, in an old brick building that used to hold printing works.

The salmon arrives overnight from Bremmnes Norway and is hand-filleted early in the morning, then salted and cured for around 12 hours. The smoking process can then begin :  We have our old-style smoking kiln in what used to be a reinforced boiler room, and use the building's original brick chimney.

Inside the smoking chamber, we have tried to re-create the humidity and temperature of Kirkenes, and subject our salmon with strong "wind", keeping it moving throughout the smoking process, and helping the taste migrate through the flesh. We use 100% pure juniper and beech wood flour and chips from smoked products specialist Dansk Traemel, and smoke the salmon for a minimum of 12 hours.

We are always happy to talk to people about how we do it, so come and visit us at the smokehouse! To arrange a visit please write to ole@hansen-lydersen.com