Curious About the Traditional Icelandic Fish Stew?


Have you been meaning to try a traditional Icelandic recipe but been put off by the fermented shark, boiled sheep’s head and sour ram’s testicles? Well, we can’t say we blame you!

If you are looking for something a bit more accessible we suggest you give plokkfiskur a go. Plokkfiskur is a traditional Icelandic fish stew that is a firm favourite in many Icelandic kitchens. It is both easy to make and very satisfying – the perfect comfort food if you ask us!

Iceland is known for its unbelievably fresh fish caught in the clean waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. We mostly eat haddock, cod, plaice, halibut and herring. Plokkfiskur is traditionally made with cod or haddock and obviously, we recommend you try to get your hands on some fresh Icelandic fish.

800 g haddock or cod
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cube of fish stock
2 bay leaves
50 g butter
300 g potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
200 ml milk

How to:
Place the fish with the onion and bay leaves in a saucepan filled with cold water. Fill a separate saucepan with water and use to boil the potatoes. Once the saucepan with the fish has started boiling, remove it from stove and put to side. Melt butter in a separate pan, add flour and mix well together. Pour in the milk and 100 ml of the water used to boil the fish.

Add the stock cube, salt and pepper to the mixture and bring the sauce to the boil and boil gently until it begins to thicken. Sieve the water from the fish and onions, add them to the sauce along with the boiled potatoes and mix everything together. Adjust seasoning and serve!

Plokkfiskur is most traditionally served with rye bread on the side.

Recipe and photo from