That time of the year when Scandinavians cook lutefisk; if you follow these instructions there will hardly be a odor and fish will be solid and flake.


Buy it skinless and "trimmed" and fresh. Make sure it is nice and firm. Purchase the lutefisk a week before you want to serve it. Take it out of the plastic bag, rinse in cold water, put it in a large bowl, and cover with ice water. Change this water two to three times per day and keep in the refrigerator for minimum of 5 days, this firms up the fish.

Put the lutefisk in a glass baking dish on aluminum foil, placed on pan with a rack in it. Put some slits in foil so liquid can drain out. Turn the foil up the sides and ends. If the skin is on, place skin side down. Put in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on how thick fish is. You may need to leave in the oven for as long as 60 minutes. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Do not overcook it or it will look like white jello!

In Minnesota, we allow at least a pound of lutefisk per person, served with hot melted butter. The two side dishes are riced or mashed potatoes and very small cooked frozen peas, no exceptions. Use pure butter melted and the Swedish way is to cover with white sauce. And, of course, you must have lefse. This is a ritual which we try to repeat as often as possible and as long as we can get the fresh lutefisk.

By Dick from International Falls, MN

October 30, 20070 found this helpful

Yumm, can't wait. Such good stuff and you don't have to be Scandinavian to enjoy it.

Thanks for the tips.

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October 30, 20070 found this helpful

Hi, Another Norske with her tips on lutefisk. Parents used to get the 50 gal barrel size each winter--so when the price at the stores smack you, I wish for the good old barrel price!

Anyway, I don't buy the skinless--but do the rinse time table you suggested (first one in salt water to firm up the fish) and use a disposible ice cream bucket (hard to get fish smell out of tupperware!) Then I will strain it about an hour, and for my single use, cut it into meal size pieces (4x6) and pop it into a sandwich zip bag. It freezes very well. I put all the bags into a large freezer zip. This way I can take it out and microwave it without thawing. Takes but a minute or two in a small dish.

Now to microwave a larger piece (2-3 lb) I take the drained fish, put it flesh up in a micro dish, cover it tight with saran, cook it about 2-3 minutes. Let it rest. Turn the fish over to skin up. DRAIN ALL LIQUID. Tightly cover it again, Cook about another 3 minutes (May have to drain liquid again) OR until the skin starts to curl it's edges up. The fish is fanning under it, it is good and tight.

And this is NO SMELL.

My 5 yr old and 17 month old granddaughters and I love having an afternoon snack of lutefisk, slightly buttered/salted. I don't worry about adding anything else. Preference with it? Lefse. Or make a lutefisk wrap with lefse or flour (not corn) tortilla.

The usual trimmings include meat balls/turkey/pork roast with potatoes, gravy, Rommegrot, Potet Klub, Sotsuppe, Blod Klub, Rullepolse, Lefse,Flatbrod. This is pretty much the menu whether with relatives in SD/ND or MN where I live now.

At the price of lutefisk, we do not use this at family gatherings--no one wants to be responsible for the $100 worth of fish! But I do buy and keep in the freezer for summer use. My youngest gave me a gift certificate 2 years ago as a christmas present for LUTEFISK that I did not have to share.

Grandma J. Benson MN

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