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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Learn to make plokkfiskur, Icelandic fish stew from fun kids cooking show filmed in Iceland

By Staff

  • On a visit to Iceland The PBS kids cooking show made one episode in Iceland for its sixth season. Photo/Screenshot from video, see below

An American cooking show for kids, Twice as Good recently made a visit to Iceland to record a show about some of the natural wonders of Iceland. The two hosts of the show, Hadley and Delaney learned to make a few kid-friendly dishes using Icelandic ingredients.

One of these is plokkfiskur, traditional Icelandic fish stew. Plokkfiskur is a favorite among Icelandic kids: When preschools offer plokkfiskur for dinner the teachers never have any trouble convincing even the most stubborn little ones to finish their food! Grownups also love plokkfiskur, which is both healthy and super easy to make. All you need is fish, potatoes, milk, some flour, butter and one onion.

Recipe for plokkfiskur:
Every family has its own recipe for plokkfiskur, and there is no one correct way to prepare this dish: you simply have to experiment to find your favorite combination and the perfect balance between creaminess, potatoes and fish. The recipe star chef Bjarni Gunnar Kristinsson teaches the girls is an excellent starting point:

400 grams (1 ¼ lbs.) Haddock, cooked or
560 grams (1 ¼ lbs.) Cod, cooked
400 grams (1 ¼ lbs.) Potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 White Onion, finely chopped
300 milliliters (11 oz.) Milk
55 grams (2 oz.) Butter
3 tablespoons Flour
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons Icelandic herbs, freshly shipped to add color, flavor & garnish)
Rye Bread

Skin, bone and break up the fish into flakes.
Slowly heat milk in a saucepan almost to a boiling point.
Meanwhile, in a medium to large non-stick saucepan, melt butter and sauté onion over medium heat until soft. Do not allow it to brown.
Sprinkle flour over onion, stir well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add warmed milk, stirring continuously. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often.
Add flaked fish and stir briskly to break up the fish flakes completely. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Add potatoes and stir gently. Cook over low heat until heated through.
Spoon into 4 bowls and sprinkle with herbs. Serve hot with dark rye bread and butter.
Decorate with Icelandic herbs like chives (flowers

Or use this "mom's cookbook" recipe
Traditionally plokkfiskur is a very simple stew of fish and potatoes. Icelandic mothers and grandmothers have thrown these ingredients together to feed their families without precisely measuring the different ingredients, adjusting the recipe based on how much fish or potatoes there are in the fridge that day.

One of our writers got this simple recipe from his mother:

1-2 onions, depending on how much onion you want. Don't overdo it!
Equal amount of potatoes and fish, cod or haddock (for example 1 pound each).
White sauce:
50 g/ 1.8 oz butter for every 0.5 kg of fish
ca 0.5 l / 17 oz milk
1/2-1 dl (0.2-0.4 cups) flour
Grated cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper (both white and regular) for seasoning.

Make traditional white sauce (mix butter, milk and flour over medium heat).
Boil the fish and potatoes.
Remove the fish from the water, set some of the water aside for possible later use.
Break the fish into small bite size pieces.
Cut the potatoes up to bite size pieces.
Chop up the onion sauté onion slightly. DO NOT allow the onion to brown.
Mix the fish and potatoes in the white sauce at low heat. Add water if the sauce is too thick.
Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
Mix in grated cheese.
Let the stew stand for 10-15 minutes. 

Add black pepper to taste. Serve with dark sweet Icelandic rye bread (or any thick rye bread you have handy).

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