Ole Hansen-Lydersen, also known as the Norwegian salmon smoker is never short of ideas. So when the Norwegian Seafood Council were looking for ways to bring the Norwegian cod ‘Skrei’ to the UK Ole transformed the tranquil cobbled street in London where his smoke house is situated, into a Norwegian fisherman’s shack.
Skrei (pronounced ‘skray’) is a special kind of migratory Norwegian cod. Skrei means ‘wanderer’ in old Norse and its name is referring to the 600 miles journey through the rough Barents Sea the mature fish make each year to their spawning grounds off Norway.
Skrei is seasonal and sustainable food, only caught between January and April and the catch is tightly monitored. The Barents Sea has the world’s largest cod stock, widely considered well managed and it is certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
The Skrei is famous for its firm flesh which when cooked turns into succulent, bright white flakes of flavoursome fish. The traditional Norwegian way of preparing Skrei is to poach the fish in lightly salted water and serve it with boiled potatoes. And it’s tongue-to-tail cooking; the poached Skrei is traditionally served with the tongue and liver as a dish called ‘skreimølje’.
Skreimølje, Norwegian tradition food as it should be served. Image source godfisk.no
Skrei is one of Norway’s oldest export product and as of recently its becoming even more popular abroad. So to celebrate this tasty and healthy dish, the Norwegian Seafood Council in collaboration with Hansen & Lydersen, invited chefs, gastronomes and food critics and writers to a proper Cod Feast in London. Together with Norwegian fishermen and 8 Norwegian Granny’s to show us exactly how Skrei is prepared according to tradition.
More than 50 foodies attended the Cod Feast in Shelford Place, London on Monday 29th of February.
When Ole Hansen-Lydersen and the Norwegian Seafood Council are bringing Skrei to London – everyone gets to be fishermen!
Isak age 12 years from Husøy in Senja, teaching chefs, foodies and press how to cut a cods tongue – a Norwegian delicacy.
Chef in the making! 12 year old and already know how to cut a cods tongue.
Ole Hansen-Lydersen talking Skrei with a Norwegian granny and finding out more about how to prepare this Norwegian speciality.
Granny Arna showing how the filleting of Skrei is done, although according to her this really is a mans job.
From left: Chef David Herrera from Spanish seafood restaurant Escocesa in Stoke Newington, Jack-Robert Møller the director of Norwegian Seafood Council in London, Arna – the Norwegian Granny and her daughter Marianne.
Skrei cheek, dipped in flour and seasoned lightly with a sprinkle of salt and pepper before its panfried in butter until golden.
Ole from Hansen & Lydersen, Bianca and Børre from Little Scandinavian
We recommend watching the film made by Great British Chefs when discovering the Norwegian cod; Skrei – Norway’s Jewel of the sea.
If you want to know more about Skrei you might want to check out Brødrene Karlsen, a fishing company located on a tiny island Husøy i Senja, far north in Norway.
Want to know more about the Norwegian smoke house in London, or taste some of their sublime kiln smoked salmon, visit Hansen & Lydersen, or any other Norwegian fish queries, visit seafoodfromnorway.co.uk
And if you are in Stoke Newington and feeling hungry I recommend going to Escocesa. It’s a local eatery with excellent reviews which is high up on my list of seafood restaurants to visit!