Why do Norwegians eat lutefisk for Christmas?

Lutefisk Recipe - Leached Cod

Lutefisk (leached cod) is a Norwegian national dish for Christmas. However, it takes a lot of work to prepare. So start preparing in good time, otherwise the fish dish will not be ready in time for Christmas.
Lutefisk is on every corner in Norway (Fanfo / Shutterstock.com)

Ingredients for lutefisk

  • Stockfish (1 kg stockfish makes approx. 5 kg lutefisk)
  • a lot of salt
  • 4-5 tbsp caustic soda (or wood ash)


First, soak the stockfish in cold water for up to a week. The water should be changed twice a day. The fish is then immersed in caustic soda with approx. 10 liters of water for three days.

Remove the fish and put it in cold water for another 2-3 days. The lutefisk is now ready for further preparation.

On the stove

Cut the fish into pieces, sprinkle with salt and wait until a brine has formed. Then cover the saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Then let it steep for 10 minutes.

In the oven

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the fish in a pan and sprinkle with salt. Then close the pan with aluminum foil and cook the fish in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

The lutefisk is served with melted butter or bacon, potatoes and pea puree.