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LUTEFISK

Lutefisk is made from stockfish and 1 kilo stockfish make about 5 kilo Lutefisk. It is difficult to estimate how much to make. This comes with experience.

This recipe tells how to make Lutefisk the oldfashioned way with Birch-ash.

Here we go:

Let the Stockfish soak in water. The water should cower the fish completely and always be fresh and cold. Change the water twice a day. The fish should stay in the water for 7 days. At this time you can remove the skin. Use a sharp knife.

While the fish is soaking you can start prepare the Birch-ash or "Askelut" as it is called in Norway. You start by cleaning your fireplace. To make good "Askelut", nothing but Birch should be burned there. Then you burn enough Birch to measure 4 liter ash. Bring 10 liter water to boil and mix in the Birch ash. Cool and filter.

Let the fish stay in the "Askelut" for 2 - 3 days. The fish will turn to brown. The exact time varies depending on who you ask. If the fish stay too long in the "Askelut" it gets soft. You don't want to make Lutesoup! Then again, if it stays to short time in, the fish is hard and have not changed very much from the Stockfish you started out with. This come with experience (they say!!)

After the "Askelut" the fish should be soaked in water again. Use fresh cold water and change it twice a day. The fish should stay in the water for 4 days. This part is important or you may spend the better part of Christmas in the little boys room!

Now you are through with the Lute process. Now the fish can be frozen if you wish to store it, or you can go on prepare it to be served.

Cut the fish into pieces suitable to serve. Let the fish simmer in well salted water for 10 - 15 minutes. Make sure the water don't boil or you may end up with Lutesoup again.

The fish is served with boiled potatoes, fried fresh pork belly. Some like pea stew with it. You can also eat it with lefse and you can have mustard with it. Beer and Aquavit is a must.

If you're not able to make this recipe work you can call my mother in law and yell at her.

I take no responsibility for what serving this dish may do to your marriage or to your relations with your family, friends and neighbors.

 Lutefisk
Photo:With kind permission by Henning Hansen