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Rakfisk (Fermented Fish) – Traditional Norwegian delicacy

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  • Fresh trout or char, gutted and cleaned
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Water
  • Black peppercorns (optional)
  • Bay leaves (optional)
  • Sliced onions (optional)
  1. Prepare the Fish:Clean and gut the fish thoroughly. Make sure to remove all blood and rinse the fish in cold water.
  2. Salting:Mix coarse sea salt (and sugar if desired) in a bowl. The general ratio is about 6-10% salt relative to the weight of the fish.
    Rub the fish inside and out with the salt mixture. Place a small handful of salt inside the belly of the fish.
  3. Fermentation:Lay the fish on its back and layer them snugly in a large, non-reactive container (glass, ceramic, or food-grade plastic). Optionally, add bay leaves and peppercorns between layers.
    Place a weighted lid or a plate on top to keep the fish submerged. Cover the container with plastic wrap or a lid.
  4. Storage:Store the container in a cool place, ideally at a temperature of around 42°F (5-6°C). Allow the fish to ferment for 1-3 months. The longer it ferments, the stronger the flavor will be.
  5. Serving:Once fermented, remove the fish from the container and rinse off any excess salt. Slice the fish into thin pieces.
    Serve with traditional accompaniments such as flatbread (lefse), sour cream, sliced onions, boiled potatoes, and dill.
  • Hygiene is crucial throughout the process to prevent unwanted bacteria from contaminating the fish.
  • The flavor of rakfisk can be quite strong and is an acquired taste. Beginners might prefer a shorter fermentation period for a milder taste.
Enjoy!Rakfisk is a unique and traditional Norwegian delicacy, often enjoyed during the winter months and at festive gatherings.

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Written by Abby Lincoln

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