Great Moments In Icelandic Cuisine: Plokkfiskur - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Great Moments In Icelandic Cuisine: Plokkfiskur

Great Moments In Icelandic Cuisine: Plokkfiskur

Published August 24, 2018

Noemi Ehrat
Photos by
Art Bicnick

One of Icelanders’ most beloved dishes is ‘plokkfiskur’—a traditional fish stew, which roughly translates as ‘plucked fish.’ It’s a go-to comfort food you want to dig in after a crazy night out in 101. Consisting of potatoes, leek, milk, flour, cheese and, of course, fish, the stew is traditionally served with a slice of rugbrauð on the side, a typically sweet Icelandic rye bread. Yum!

More than left-over food

While plokkfiskur is popular throughout Iceland, and is served in many cafés and restaurants, there are disagreements over the ideal ingredients. Traditionalists insist that the fish used in the fish stew should be leftovers that have been kept in the fridge at least overnight, if not longer; whereas the fish you will get in most restaurant versions is as fresh as fish can be. Others disagree on the type of fish, as some prefer haddock, while others opt for cod or even fancy-pants salmon.

The president’s favourite dish

Plokkfiskur is not only a favourite dish of the hoi polloi, even the president himself, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, calls plokkfiskur his favourite dish. Guðni’s mother, Margrét Thorlacius, told Vísir that he always likes to visit her to enjoy a hearty helping of her homemade stew. If you want to try plokkfiskur à la Prez, you’re in luck—Guðni’s wife, Eliza Reid, took a video of her mother-in-law demonstrating how exactly to prepare the best fish stew in the world…at least according to the president.

Read more great moments in Icelandic cuisine here.


Show Me More!