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Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish, & Game

By A D Livingston

Published 2010

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This Norwegian dish is usually made these days with farmed rainbow trout. Traditionally, the trout are processed in a wooden container that will hold about 4 gallons, but I have found a Styrofoam ice chest to be satisfactory.


Catch some trout of about 1 pound each and fillet them. Put a layer of coarse salt in the bottom of the container at least 2 inches deep. (You may want to use rock salt for this purpose because sea salt is so expensive these days.) Add a layer of trout, skin side up. Do not overlap the trout. Add a thin layer of salt, covering all the fish but not piling it on. Add another layer of trout, and soon, until you fill the box or run out of fish. Top with salt.

This dish is usually made in the fall, when the weather is cool, and the Norwegians merely sit the box outside in the sun for 3 or 4 weeks. If you live in a hot climate, turn the air conditioner down to 70 degrees and sit the box in a picture window that catches the morning sun. Be warned that this stuff smells almost as loudly as Batarekh, so keep the lid on tightly if your spouse is hard to live with.

Serve the trout as needed (without cooking) with thin bread and a little hot prepared mustard. If you have prepared a whole box of these trout only to find that you don’t like them, or they are too strong or too salty for your taste, soak them in milk overnight to soften and sweeten them. Then dust them with flour and fry ’em in butter. Or flake off the meat and use it to make salt codfish balls, using any good New England recipe. In Boston, according to my copy of the Old-Time New England Cookbook, salt codfish balls, Boston brown bread, and Boston baked beans are traditionally served up for breakfast on Sunday morning. Really good Boston baked beans, I might add, are always cooked in a cast-iron pot with a slab of salt pork.