Lightly Smoked Skrei,  Skimmed Norwegian Butter Sauce, Fermented Fries, Confit Leek, Trout Roe, Pickled Fennel and Dill

Lightly Smoked Skrei, Skimmed Norwegian Butter Sauce, Fermented Fries, Confit Leek, Trout Roe, Pickled Fennel and Dill

Thomas Karlstein

Skrei means to crawl or walk and that is exactly what the Skrei cod does.


600-800 g skrei (cod loin) approx.

2.5L water

1 dl salt

1 dl granulated sugar

pickled fennel (description in the main text )

trout roe


Norwegian Butter Sauce:

1 dl whipping cream

1 dl crème fraiche

100 g butter

1 tbsp concentrated fish stock

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

1/2 tablespoon Easy Whip (Special ingredients)

Fermented mini fries:

800 g grated thin sticks of potato in approx. 3x3x25mm

1 L water

2 tbsp salt (iodized)

Confit leek in 4 pieces of 5 cm. (leek lower part)

200 g butter

salt and pepper


This idea came about after I sent my son with his girlfriend to the Hantverket restaurant. They came home slightly lyrical and described one of the dishes in detail. I went in and checked the menu. Based on a series of split raw materials, this was the result. It's a free interpretation of something I haven't eaten, just read about. I even replaced the fish. If the dish at Hantverket holds the same high class as usual, I'm damn close. Because this is undoubtedly the best thing to come out of my slot this year so far and we're still in March.

Skrei means to crawl or walk and that is exactly what the Skrei cod does. Every winter it begins a hundred-mile long migration from the Barents Sea. The cod's built-in clock tells you when it's time to return down to the original playgrounds in the Norwegian waters. The long journey makes the meat especially delicate. Skrei is usually available in stores from the beginning of February until somewhere in April.

Although the Skreien is very nice, it is not a huge difference to a good "regular" cod. It feels a bit like a sales ploy. You also have to bear in mind that, unlike the Skreien, the West Sea cod does not need to be shipped down from Northern Norway, which is why this cod has the prerequisite to arrive at our tables even fresher. I leave the Skreien in brine for an hour. It is then rinsed and dried before entering the Bradley smoker. It is important to get it as dry as possible. The rimming means that the cod is layered extra nicely on the plate.

I smoked the cod at 80-85°C until it reaches an internal temperature of 45-47°C.

I have shredded the fermented mini fries on a mandolin.

After that, it has been in lightly salted water in a bowl on the kitchen counter under plastic for 3-5 days.

The result is fries with more flavor, it's not exactly sour, but there's something more about the flavor that you can't put your finger on. Maybe a little more umami? If you don't have time to let the fries soak, it's fine to fry them as they are. Imagine that it will be like that cocktail snack that nobody buys, but that has stuck around and never changed packaging since the 1980s. Making mini fries is all about the texture. It should add crunch to the dish, which is why normal, regular-sized fries don't work as well.

The leek is as simple as it gets. Tie a few pieces together, cut so that the butter can penetrate and bake with lots of butter in the oven. The leek should in principle be soaked in butter while it is being cooked. 

Norwegian Butter Sause- oh you beautiful sauce basically just three ingredients in equal amounts. With a splash of fish stock and a little lemon juice, you are perfect. If you also put yourself in a siphon with a little hocus pocus powder (Easy whip), you will be even better.

Now there are a lot of little details in this dish, but don't make yourself skip the pickled fennel. Rather skip the trout roe.

Pickled fennel is easy to make. Boil a 1-2-3 team, (one part vinegar, two parts sugar, three parts water), remove from the plate and add the sliced fennel. Then let it stand and draw and cool. Of course, it tastes best after a few days, but it can certainly be made just a few hours in advance. A moment in a chamber vacuum machine can also boost any minutely made pickle. Of course, you serve this dish in whatever crockery you want, but make sure the plates are properly preheated beforehand.

The relatively low temperature cod cools down very quickly even if the sauce is there. Here I, or someone else, folded small boxes of baking paper. It's nice to eat this dish out of something put together. It becomes more genuine and truly so. Like fine dining in street kitchen bottling. Like a craft.


Cut the cod into portions.

Stir salt and sugar into water. If you stir long and well, the sheet does not need to be heated and then left to cool.

Place the cod in the cold brine.

Put a few ice cubes in the water and the change can remain on the kitchen counter.

Leave the cod for an hour. Rinse and dry. Here I sometimes think about taking out the hair dryer. The drier the fish is when smoked, the better the result.

Smoke with alder shavings at 80-85°C until the internal temperature of the cod is around 45-49°C, depending on how you prefer your fish. Remove the skin before serving.

Norwegian Butter Sauce:

Heat the cream and crème fraiche until it almost boils.

Cut room temperature butter into small cubes. Then run through everything with an immersion blender. It should whip and foam vigorously. (If you have a Thermomixer, this sauce is made to be made in one.)

Season with fish stock and lemon juice. A little salt and pepper. When the sauce tastes good, add the Easy whip and whisk everything around one more time.

Strain everything into a siphon (0.5L).

Turn upside down, push in two cream cartridges and shake a few times. If the siphon is of the thermos type, the sauce is now ready for serving. If it is a regular siphon, place it in a Bain Marie (hot water bath).

Confit leeks Split the leeks and tie together with cooking string.

Cut some slits in the onions so that the butter can penetrate.

Salt and pepper. Top with lots of butter and then bake in an oven at 175°C for around 30 minutes. The leeks should be golden on the surface, cooked through, but still mild and a little "green" in the middle.

Fermented fries:

Rinse the mini fries that have been left to ferment for 3-5 days in lightly salted water.

Pat the fries dry with a kitchen towel.

Fry with a few breaks so that the oil has time to come up to temperature (180°C) again between rounds. Fry really crispy but not burnt.

Put a generous dollop of Norwegian Butter Sauce from the siphon at the bottom. Place the Cod on top.

Top with fries on top of and to the side of the fish.

Place the leeks on the other side. Spoon on some of the butter.

Top the Cod with pickled fennel, it is welcome to add a few drops of the law. Finish with a generous spoonful of trout roe and a sprig of dill.


Alder Bisquettes for Bradley Smokers

Alder is commonly used for smoked salmon because of its milder flavour. However, thanks to its light, sweet, and musky flavour, it's a smooth smoke flavour perfect for almost any dish.

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