Seven easy Icelandic recipes for brave beginners

Get the taste of the Nordics and add a dash of Icelandic-inspired wellness into your diet with these seven easy Icelandic recipes to try at home.

Seven easy Icelandic recipes for brave beginners

The Icelandic diet has long been held up as a beacon of healthiness, renowned the world over for being packed with foods that are low in saturated fats and rich in healthy omega 3 fatty acids. These are all renowned as being important elements of a healthy diet.

If you’re looking to start eating like a true Nordic, looking towards Iceland for inspiration can bring you some fantastic yet simple recipes that not only aid your mindfulness and wellness, but are also fantastically tasty. Trying out some simple recipes will allow you to discover a new world of flavours, as well as giving you a kick start in your bid for wellness.

We’ve collated seven of our favourite Icelandic recipes to help you enjoy the glacial flavours of Reykjavik and beyond.

Plokkfiskur – Fish Stew¹

Preparation time: 15 mins Cooking time: 30 mins Serves: Three

Experience a taste of Iceland stretching back through hundreds of years with this dish that draws its inspiration from traditions passed through the generations. Translated as “plucked fish”, it’s another great starter dish that is packed with nutrients and is filling enough to be a main meal too.

Ingredients

  • ½ chopped brown onion
  • 50g butter
  • 100ml wheat flour
  • 500g new potatoes
  • 500g cod or haddock
  • 400ml milk and fish stock

Instructions

  • Boil the new potatoes in a pan for 10 minutes
  • Drain them in a colander and leave to cool
  • Carefully peel the potatoes
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil
  • Add a pinch of salt and your fish and cover
  • Heat for eight to nine minutes and remove the fish – pour water into a dish for stock
  • Slice your new potatoes into bitesize chunks
  • Flake the cooked fish with a fork
  • Add butter and onion to your large pan and cook on medium heat until softened
  • Stir in the wheat flour and thin this out with one third of your stock and 400ml milk
  • Once you get a thick consistency, add your potatoes and fish and stir

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Skyr Crème Brȗlée²

Preparation time: 15 mins Cooking time: 30 mins Serves: Four

Savour the sweet delights of this delicious dessert, but with the added protein of skyr when you try an Icelandic-style crème brȗlée to complete a three course meal – or as a tasty treat on its own.

Ingredients

  • 100g of cream
  • 100g of skyr
  • 40g of egg yolks
  • 40g of sugar
  • 80g of white chocolate
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • One vanilla pod

Instructions

  • Cut your vanilla pod lengthways and add this to a saucepan
  • Add your cream and bring to the oil
  • Remove from the heat and scoop in your skyr
  • Using a separate pan and bowl, melt your white chocolate and pour into the skyr mix
  • In a bowl, stir your egg yolk and sugar together and add to the pan
  • Squeeze the lime juice into the pan and stir
  • Pour your mixture into separate ramekins and bake for 30 minutes at 120°C
  • Leave to cool and sprinkle with brown sugar
  • Use a crème brulée torch to melt

Harðfiskur – Dried Fish³

Preparation time: Two to three weeks Cooking time: n/a Serves: Four

This staple of niche Icelandic-style cuisine takes some time to prepare, but the Nordic take on beef jerky is well worth the wait and nutritious to boot!

Ingredients

  • 5-15 fresh whole cod or haddock
  • Salted butter

Instructions

  • Clean your fish in cold water
  • Gut the fish using a knife, taking care to remove the innards head
  • Fillet the fish and ensure you keep both sides connected by its tail
  • Place your fillets flat over the bar with space between each
  • Leave to dry for two to three weeks in a well ventilated area
  • Check to see whether they have a yellow and hard consistency
  • Once dried, use a wooden meat mallet and pound the fish until it is white
  • Tear into servable pieces and eat with salted butter

Kjötsúpa – Lamb soup

Preparation time: 25 mins Cooking time: 70 mins Serves: Six

Traditional Icelandic lamb soup is food for the soul – slurp this on a cold winter’s evening to warm up or try as a hearty starter when you’re entertaining friends and family.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic
  • 1.5kg of lamb chops
  • 1 medium brown onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of brown rice
  • 1.4 litres of water
  • ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
  • ½ cabbage, chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into ½ inch slices
  • ½ rutabaga, diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 4 potatoes sliced into ½ inch pieces

Instructions

  • Using a large pot, sauté the garlic in olive oil for one to two minutes on a medium heat
  • Add your lamb chops and cook until both sides are browned
  • Throw in your sliced onion and fry for around a minute
  • Pour in the brown rice and water – bring to a light boil for five minutes
  • Turn the heat down to medium and stir in your thyme and oregano
  • Cover and heat for 40 minutes
  • Once cooked, add cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, rutabaga and potatoes
  • Cover and cook for 20 minutes
  • Take the meat out of the pot and chop up before adding back to the pot
  • Warm for five more minutes before serving

Pönnukökur – Icelandic pancakes with skyr

Preparation time: 5 mins Cooking time: 15 mins Serves: Makes 14 pancakes

Iceland’s version of pancakes keeps all the best parts about the traditional recipe, but with the extra tang and flavour of skyr – perfect for adding on top with winter fruits for an additional kick.

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ cups of milk
  • Butter
  • 1 tablespoon of skyr per pancake
  • Selection of berries and fruits

Instructions

  • Whisk your eggs, milk and salt in a bowl until they’re frothy
  • Gradually add the flour and continue whisking until you have a batter
  • Heat a pan over a medium heat, then add butter to coat the entire bottom of the pan
  • Pour in one pancake worth of your mixture
  • Heat one side for around 30 seconds or until bubbles appear, flip and heat the other side for the same time
  • Repeat until cooked and do so with all other pancakes
  • Heap your tablespoon of skyr over the pancake and serve with the fruits of your choice

Fiskisúpa – Fish soup

Preparation time: 15 mins Cooking time: 30 mins Serves: Four

For a food rich in nourishment and nutrients, try this classic fish soup as a lunchtime warm-up or a meal kick-starter when you’re cooking multiple courses.

Ingredients

  • 500g of salmon
  • 500g of haddock
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 celeriac
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 500ml of skyr
  • 1 can of tomato puree
  • Fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 litres water – with equivalent vegetable stock

Instructions

  • Finely chop your onion and leek
  • Add to a large pot and gently sauté in butter until they’re soft
  • Peel the celeriac and finely chop before throwing into your pan
  • Sauté for four minutes until it’s soft
  • Pour in the three litres of water, stock and red wine vinegar – boil for 15 minutes
  • Thinly slice tomatoes and skin the salmon before cubing it and the haddock
  • Throw in the tomatoes and fish, simmer for five minutes
  • Serve in a bowl and enjoy

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Brúnaðar Kartöflur – Caramelised Potatoes

Preparation time: 10 mins Cooking time: 30 mins Serves: Four

For something that’s a little more of an Icelandic treat, serve up these sweet caramelised potatoes as a delectable side dish or delicious starter – perfect for when you’re entertaining guests with an authentic Icelandic-style three course meal.

Ingredients

  • 1kg of new potatoes
  • 90g of sugar
  • 90g of butter

Instructions

  • Boil the new potatoes in a pan for 10 minutes
  • Drain them in a colander and leave to cool
  • Carefully peel the potatoes
  • Melt your sugar in a frying pan under a medium heat
  • Once browned, add butter and stir thoroughly to make caramel
  • Reduce heat and throw in your potatoes, ensuring they are coated evenly
  • Keep potatoes on the heat until they achieve a light brown colour
  • Serve cold

Article References:

  1. https://adventures.is/blog/icelandic-food-recipies-plokkfiskur/
  2. https://guidetoiceland.is/best-of-iceland/delicious-icelandic-recipes
  3. https://icelandicfoodstories.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/har%C3%B0fiskur-me%C3%B0-smjori-dried-fish-with-butter/
  4. https://www.thespruceeats.com/kjotsupa-icelandic-lamb-soup-2952929
  5. http://honestcooking.com/icelandic-pancakes-ponnukokur/
  6. https://grapevine.is/icelandic-culture/food/eat/2015/10/20/soup-tuesday-fiskisupa-icelandic-fish-soup/
  7. https://www.greedygourmet.com/recipes-by-national-cuisine/icelandic/caramel-potatoes-brunadar-kartoflur/