While Iceland has a hard-earned reputation for questionable foodstuffs, there are some things that we unquestionably do well. Plokkfiskur, a comforting fish stew, is one of these dishes. As an island nation, Icelanders have always had access to high quality, fresh seafood, and so it’s unsuprising that fish appears commonly in traditional fare.
Plokkfiskur, which literally translates as ‘plucked fish,’ is made with either cod or haddock, milk, potatoes and onions. More modern versions of the recipe may include the addition of curry powder, cheese or a bechamel sauce on top but, at its essence, Plokkfiskur is about making the most of straightforward ingredients and providing something hearty and nourishing for hard-working people. Simple and satisfying, many would argue that Plokkfiskur is the best way to enjoy the catch of the day.
Individuals who fall into this category include current President, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson. Guðni, like every good Icelandic boy, obviously claims his mother’s recipe is the best. But never fear, you too can try the president’s favourite food – his wife has filmed her mother-in-law cooking the dish so that passionate fans of fish and Icelandic politics can have a go at the recipe at home.
For those who would rather have their meals made for them, Plokkfiskur is served in a number of restaurants around Reykjavík. Make sure you find somewhere that serves it with traditional, slightly sweet, Icelandic rye bread so you can mop up every last bit.
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