A perfect recipe for Lutfisk – A Traditional Delicacy from Scandinavia


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Lutfisk is a traditional Scandinavian dish that has a long history and is popular during Christmas . It is a unique dish that is loved by some and loathed by others. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the history behind lutefish, how to cook it, and give you some useful tips and tricks to succeed with your own lutefish recipe.

History and Origin of Lutfisk

Lutfisk originated in Scandinavia and has been an important part of the Nordic food culture for centuries. Originally, brine fish was developed as a method of preserving fish during the long, cold winter months when fresh fish was hard to come by. By drying the fish and then rehydrating it with lye (which is an alkaline solution), the fish could be preserved for a longer period of time.

There are different theories about where lutefish actually come from. According to a legend, the Vikings are said to have discovered lute fish after a fishing village burned down and the fish that lay drying got wet from the rain and ash. The Vikings tried the fish and discovered that it was edible and liked it so much that they started using lutefish as a delicacy.

How to Cook Lutefish

Cooking saltfish can be a challenge, but with the right technique and a few tips, you can turn out a delicious meal. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking saltfish:


  • 1 kg lute fish
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 20 g of butter
  • 1 ½ tbsp flour
  • 180 ml of milk
  • 120 ml cream
  • 3 cloves
  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 slices pancetta or pork

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the salted fish in a deep baking dish and sprinkle with salt. Cover the tin with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan and remove it from the heat. Stir in the flour and mix to a batter. Add the milk and cream gradually, stirring well after each addition.
  4. Add cloves, white peppercorns and black peppercorns. Bring to a boil, stirring, then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Strain the sauce and keep warm.
  6. Cut the pancetta into small pieces and fry them until golden brown. Drain them on kitchen paper and then keep them warm but not covered so they retain their crispness.
  7. When the fish is done, take out 2 tablespoons of the fish spade and add it to the sauce. Then stir in butter to taste.
  8. Place a portion of sole fish in the center of a plate, cover with sauce and garnish with lightly fried peas and crispy pancetta pieces. Serve with boiled potatoes and a side bowl of finely ground allspice, white pepper and black pepper.
Mannerström's Christmas cookbook

Mannerström’s Christmas cookbook

“I like an old fashioned Christmas! I roll up my sleeves and cook all the Christmas food from scratch. I put in the herring, bury the salmon, roll meatballs, cook and grill the ham, make the ribs… Nothing must be missing!
Then it’s good with a cold schnapps and some mumma!”

Tips and Tricks to Succeed with your Lutfisk recipe

  • Buy saltwater fish from a reliable supplier to ensure that the fish is of high quality.
  • Lutfisk can be hard to find outside of Scandinavia, but there are specialty stores and online stores that sell it.
  • Be careful when handling saltfish as they can be fragile and fall apart easily.
  • Serve lutefish with traditional side dishes such as boiled potatoes, peas and a sauce of your choice.
  • To get the right consistency on the fish, it is important to follow the instructions carefully and not to overcook it.

Final Thoughts

Lutfisk is a dish that has a long history and tradition in Scandinavia. With the right cooking technique and a few simple tips, you can enjoy this unique delicacy at home. Give it a try and discover why lutefish is so loved by some and loathed by others. Prepare for a culinary experience that will take you back to Scandinavia’s rich food culture and traditions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lutefish

What is lye?

Lye is an alkaline solution used to rehydrate dried fish and give it its unique texture.

Where can I buy lutefish?

Lutfisk can be bought in specialty stores and online stores that focus on Scandinavian foods.

How long can I store lute fish?

Store salted fish in an airtight container in the fridge. It can last for several days, but it is recommended to eat it as soon as possible for the best taste and texture.

Can I freeze lutefish?

Yes, you can freeze brine fish to extend its shelf life. Just be sure to wrap it properly in an airtight container before freezing it.

julens godaste lutfisk

Julens godaste lutfisk

Här serveras lutfisken med potatisragu och en sås med smak av ansjovis!
Prep Time 9 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 9 hours 45 minutes
Course Brunch, Huvudrätt, Julmat
Cuisine Nordiskt, Svenskt
Servings 4 pers
Calories 805 kcal



  • 2 kg Lutfisk


  • 5 st Ansjovisfiléer
  • 2 msk Smör
  • 2 msk Vetemjöl (eller maizena)
  • 3 dl Vispgrädde
  • 3 dl Mjölk
  • Salt (efter smak)
  • Peppar (efter smak)


  • 200 g Gröna ärtor
  • 200 g Brysselkål
  • 8 st Potatisar
  • 1 st Lagerblad
  • 1 tsk Kryddpeppar (mald)
  • Salt (efter smak)
  • Vitpeppar (efter smak)


  • Börja med lutfisken: Skölj lutfisken under rinnande kallt vatten tills vattnet är helt klart. Låt sedan fisken ligga i vatten i kylskåpet över natten.
    2 kg Lutfisk
  • Sätt ugnen på 225 grader.
  • Lägg fisken med skinnsidan nedåt i en ugnssäker form med höga kanter. Salta och täck med aluminiumfolie. Koka i ugn 40-55 minuter.


  • Koka upp grädde och mjölk i en kastrull. Ta av plattan men fortsätt att hålla varmt.
    3 dl Vispgrädde, 3 dl Mjölk
  • Låt vetemjölet sakta fräsa ihop med smöret (Om man använder maizena ska det i på slutet, då kan smöret också uteslutas).
    2 msk Smör, 2 msk Vetemjöl
  • Innan mjölet tar någon som helst färg men ändå börjar få en lätt nötdoft, fyll på med kokande mjölk och grädde under stark vispning. Tillsätt lite i taget, till önskad konsistens.
  • Låt såsen sjuda i cirka 15 minuter. Smaka av med salt och peppar och blanda ner ansjovisen. Mixa såsen slät.
    5 st Ansjovisfiléer, Salt, Peppar


  • Skär potatisen i klyftor. Koka den tillsammans med lagerblad och kryddor i vatten i cirka 5 minuter.
    8 st Potatisar, 1 st Lagerblad, 1 tsk Kryddpeppar
  • Tillsätt då brysselkålen och låt den koka mjuk tillsammans med potatisen.
    200 g Brysselkål
  • Tillsätt i ärtorna på slutet.
    200 g Gröna ärtor
  • Värm under tiden lutfisken och såsen. Smaka av såsen och tillsätt salt och vitpeppar.
  • Servera lutfisken tillsammans med sås och potatisragu och dekorera med en ansjovisfilé på varje tallrik.


Calories: 805kcal
Keyword Ansjovis, Fisksås, Lutfisk, Potatis, Sås
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