Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Lutefisk (lutfisk) (pronounced [lʉːtəfɪsk] in Southern Norway, [lʉːtfesk] in Central and Northern Norway, Sweden and the Swedish-speaking areas in Finland (Finnish: lipeäkala)) is a traditional dish of the Nordic countries and parts of the Midwest United States. It is made from stockfish (air-dried whitefish) or dried/salted whitefish (klippfisk) and lye (lut). Its name literally means "lye fish."
Lutefisk does not need any additional water for the cooking; it is sufficient to place it in a pan, salt it, seal the lid tightly, and let it steam cook under a very low heat for 20–25 minutes. It is also possible to do this in an oven. There, the fish is put in an ovenproof dish, covered with aluminium foil, and baked at 225 °C (435 °F) for 40–50 minutes.
Lutefisk is usually served with a variety of side dishes, including, but not limited to, bacon, green peas, green pea stew, potatoes, lefse, gravy, mashed rutabaga, white sauce, melted or clarified butter, syrup, geitost (goat cheese), or "old" cheese (gammelost). In the United States in particular it is sometimes eaten together with meatballs.