Traditional food in Iceland – Plokkfiskur

I remember it fondly that Plokkfiskur, or Fish stew was one of the things I frequently had when growing up. Of course, being raised in a small fishing village helped with the constant supply of fresh fish. Don’t let the look fool you since it doesn’t look like much. It tastes excellent!

The recipe for Plokkfiskur

Here is a family recipe from Your Friend In Reykjavik for this very traditional food in Iceland = Plokkfiskur or Fish stew. This should serve a family of four.

The ingredients

  • 500 g fish (Usually Cod or Haddock)
  • 500 g potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter (the creamy Icelandic one preferably)
  • 3 tablespoons wheat
  • 300 ml of milk
  • pepper (some prefer white)
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry

The cooking process

Start with boiling the potatoes for about 20 minutes. When they are soft and ready, peel them.

Put the fish in a pot with a pinch of salt and cold water, so the water’s surface is just over the fish; heat until it boils and then turn off the heat. Let the fish stay in the water for 10 minutes before you fish the fish out. Pardon the pun.

Peel the onion and cut it into tiny pieces.

Melt the butter in a pot, put the onion in, and let it sizzle for about 5 minutes on low heat, so the onion doesn’t get brown. Mix in the curry. Put the wheat in and stir well for about a minute; put in about half of the milk and raise the heat.

Lower the temperature again when it boils, let it simmer for about 5 minutes, and continuously keep stirring so it doesn’t burn (add milk when needed).

Take the sauce off the burner, add the fish and potatoes and mash it well together. You can add a bit of milk if the Plokkfiskur is too thick.

Spice the Plokkfiskur with quite a lot of pepper and a little salt. You just have to do that according to your taste. Some people love to add a little garlic or mustard. On top, some people like to use Parsley, Spring onions, or Scallions.

The perfect side dish with the Plokkfiskur is the lovely Rúgbrauð (Rye bread or Lavabread) with our special Icelandic creamy butter.

Gjörðu svo vel (Bon appétit)

The restaurant version of Plokkfiskur

Plokkfiskur at Þrír Frakkar – Photo: ChrisGoldNY

If you want to do a more fancy version of this delicious dish, you can put the Plokkfiskur in an oven tray and add bearnaise sauce and cheese on top. Then into an oven at 200° C and keep it there for a couple of minutes until the cheese turns golden brown.

For more traditional Icelandic food, join our Reykjavik Food Lovers tour!

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