Swedish Lutefisk

"This is a traditional Swedish dish (also served in Norway but the Danes have more sense). It is a dish that you acquire a taste for (like Haggis). When you do acquire a taste you love it so I'm told. I have not cooked this recipe but it comes from a traditional source. This is not a joke this is an authentic recipe!"
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:
480hrs 10mins


  • 1 piece dried lutefisk, sawed into 6 inch lengths
  • 2 tablespoons lye


  • Soak the fish in clear water for 3 days.
  • Add 2 tbsp lye into a gallon of water.
  • Soak for 3 days in this solution.
  • Then soak for 4 days in clear water, changing the water every day.
  • To cook the lute fish--------.
  • Tie the fish loosely in a square of cheese cloth.
  • Drop in a large enamel pot of boiling water.
  • Cook 10 minutes or until well done.
  • Remove cheese cloth put on a platter and debone.
  • Serve with a white sauce or a mustard sauce.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I was raised with having Lute Fish every Christmas. My Grandmother is Swedish so thatis how I was introduced to the fish. As a young child my Grandpa would trick us into eating the fish by mashing it into our mashed potatoes! Then I decided I would just eat it on my own. I like it with white sause and with boild Swedish potatoes covered in real butter. Most Christmass I get two or three feeds of Lute Fish, ist great!
  2. This is a very traditional recipe. My grandfather came from sweden and we had it often. He is gone now but we still keep the tradition alive at holiday time. The trick is not to cook the fish too long or it will be soft and it's the texture that " makes it or breaks it." a funny story tells about a woman who had skunks under her house and she was told to put lutefisk in the basement and they would leave. It worked but then she couldn't get rid of the norwegians! The lye was obviously a preservative; these days you can buy it frozen. If dried lute fisk is used, do not use sterling silverware or the lye will darken it.
  3. But EWWWWWWWWWWw! I thought that my grandmother was the ONLY person on Earth that got offended by people making fun of this stuff. She loves it. I abstain on the basis that body is a temple and eating anything prepaired in lye would defile it. That includes grits too.
  4. My father had told me about using lye to soak dried Lute Fish and it is a Swedish Lute Fish recipe. My ancestors came from Sweden. I thought he was crazy when he told me. I was just kid when I had it. I don't remember if I liked it or not. Boy, does this bring back memories!
  5. Also very good baked in an 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, then served with bacon fat and chunks of bacon. Sounds horrible, but I've grown to love it!


  1. Over the years I've tried all the listed conventional recipes for Lutefisk. Boiled, Broiled, etc. & while some of them were ok, I decided to try my own ideas & the best I've come up with is as follows: I used the OLSON's packaged re-constituted product. After draining, I placed on a large plate. If the product is thick, I sliced it to approximately 1/2"-3/4" thickness and sized it to portion sized pieces(3-4"x4"). I then liberably sprinkled both sides w/fine sea salt, Tony Cachere's cajun seasoning, dill weed & a light sprinkling of lemon powder. Put this aside for at least an hour, covered @ room temperature. You will notice a lot of liquid coming out as it sits, this is what you want. After draining, dredge in flour(I used WONDRA) & place in non-stick skillet along w/a small amount of butter @ medium to medium high heat. Brown for approximately 3-4 minutes & turn, browning the other side as well. Optional: I also used the drained liquid mixed with a small amount of sour cream & chicken broth & reduced to about 50% & served it over the still warm/hot Lutefisk along with boiled yellowfinn new potatoes & petite peas. It was very, very good! The lutefisk texture was as crabmeat & not slimey at all! Note: if the lutefisk was very thick, drain longer to eliminate any lye/ammonia @ the thickest areas. Bob Jordan 12/18/16


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