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A Norwegian Speciality:

"Lutefisk" – Cod in Lye

Lutefisk á la Chef de Lofoten:

One kilo of stockfish provides 3 kilos of "lutefisk". Immerse the stockfish in plenty of cold water and leave to soak for 8 days, changing the water every day. Use round fish and remove the spine when the fish has been sufficiently soaked. In my opinion, whole, or round fish stays whiter than split-dried fish.

Make lye from 30 litres of boilingwater and 3 dessert spoonfuls of caustic soda, or, 2 litres of birch ashes and 7 litres of boiling water. Cool the lye and pour it over the fish. leave for about 24-36 hours according to how "loose" a consistency you require of the fish. The longer it soaks in lye, the "looser" it becomes. Afterwards, leave the fish under cold, running water for 1-2 days.

How to prepare "lutefisk":
If you are expecting big eaters, allow one kilo of fish per person. Normally, 400-700 grams should be enough.

Boil plenty of water and add 1 large dessert spoonful of salt per litre. When the water boils, add the thoroughly rinsed pieces of fish. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the fish to simmer – not boil – for 10-15 minutes.

With "lutefisk", the Chef de Lofoten serves lightly salted bacon and diced onions together with pease pudding and, of course, boiled potatoes.

Another variation: Serve with pease pudding, melted bacon fat, white sauce, mustard and bacon.

(From: Storeide, Mareno – "Fra Lofotkokkens gryte". Orkana Forlag.)

Stockfish Dish from Nigeria
(for four persons)
  • Three medium size stockfish (30 cm)
  • 12 fresh red peppers (chilli)
  • Two large onions
  • 320 g of tomato purée
  • 25 cc of vegetable oil
  • 75 cc of water

Finely chop the onion and the peppers and mix with the tomato purée.
Fry in the palm oil for about 10 minutes while adding water and salt to taste. Cut the stockfish into 5-8 cm thick slices and soak for at least half an hour before adding to the rest of the dish. Boil for about 15 minutes.
(From the newspaper "Aftenposten", 18 May, 1995.)


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