Swedes consume a record amount of fish: over 10 kilo fish (22 pounds) per person a year, according to statistics. Salmon is still the favorite fish to eat — the average Swede consumes over 6.6 pounds of salmon each year — but codfish is coming back after years of alerts of overfishing.
Among all the semlor, pancakes and waffles, it seems right to share a lighter recipe. Besides, fish in everty thinkable way has been a food of choice for Scandinavians for a very long time. Dried fish, preferably cod and ling, were the Vikings' most important provision during their long journeys at sea. This eventually evolved into lutfisk and wasn’t served more often during times of fasting than it is today. During the Catholic period in Sweden the Christmas fast wasn’t over until Christmas Day. That is why some Swedes still dine on lutfisk on Christmas Eve.


Lightly salted cod fillets with beetroot rösti and horseradish cream

Serves 4
For the cod
1-1/2 to 1-3/4 pounds (600–800 g) cod fillets
3/4 cup (200 ml) sea salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup (50-100ml) white wine
1 cup (250ml) water
3/4 cup (200ml) leek, coarsely chopped
4 white peppercorns


Beetroot rösti
1/2 cup (100ml) plain flour
3/4 - 1 cup (200ml) milk
1 egg
1 tsp salt
4 large potatoes, finely grated
4 large beetroots, finely grated
2 tbsp butter

Horseradish cream
3/4 - 1 cup (200ml) créme fraiche
1 tsp French mustard
1 tsp grated horseradish
salt and white pepper

Vegetable strips
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 leek, julienned
4 slices bacon

Cut the cod fillet in 4 pieces and rub in the salt. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Rinse the fish. Boil the wine, water, leek and peppercorns in a saucepan with low sides. Put in the fish and let sit with the lid on until it is white in color, 8 to 10 minutes.

Beetroot rösti
Mix flour, milk, egg and salt. Fold in the grated potato and beetroot. Brown the butter in a frying pan and fry 4 plate-sized cakes. They should be crispy and golden but a bit soft in the middle. Keep warm until serving.

Horseradish cream
Mix all the ingredients for the cream and add more horseradish if desired.

Vegetable strips
Blanch the vegetable strips quickly in lightly salted boiling water. Then roast them in a hot frying pan. Fry the bacon crunchy.

Plate the rösti alongside the vegetable strips. Plate the fish with a slice of bacon on it. Drizzle the horseradish cream over top.

(Another good way to salt fish is to mix 70 grams of salt in 1 litre of water, put in the fish and let sit for 8 minutes.)

Fish in all honor; Swedes still prefer meat: Consumption is about 80 kilos (176 pounds) of meat per person and year. The message that fish is healthy has, however, seeped through, and it’s become trendy to eat healthy so fish is gaining.