Lou’s Norwegian Fish Pudding

This receipt was handed down to Roald Dahl by his mother and grandmother.

He was a very good cook himself and thoroughly enjoyed preparing great feasts for his friends and family.


  • 225 g/8 oz smoked, undyed haddock fillet
  • 225 g/8 oz smoked cod fillet
  • 300 ml/½ pint milk
  • 175 ml/6floz (double) cream
  • 1½ tbsp potato flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped parsley

For the Sauce

  • 25 g/1 oz butter
  • 25 g/1 oz plain flour
  • 350 ml/12floz milk, warmed
  • 3 tsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 85 g/3 oz smoked oysters or mussels
  • 225 g/8 oz peeled cooked prawns


You can make this pudding in a 1.5-litre/3-pint ring mould or 6 individual timbales. Skin the two fishes. Cut, place in a food processor and whizz for a few seconds, or chop very finely. Add the milk, cream, potato flour, salt and a good grinding of pepper. Whizz again. Put the mixture into the lightly oiled mould (or timbales). Cover with foil and place in an oven tin half filled with water. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 for about 20 minutes until firm to the touch.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Make a roux in a saucepan with the butter and flour, then add the warmed milk little by little to form a smooth sauce. Add the tomato purée, sherry and lemon juice. Bring to simmering point and cook for 20 minutes. Check for seasoning. Add the smoked mussels or oysters and the prawns. Let them heat through but on no account boil.

Go round the pudding with a knife and turn it out on to a warmed platter. Pour the sauce over it and sprinkle with chopped parsley and a few extra prawns. Serve immediately with a watercress salad.