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Fish Frikadeller, a Delicious and Simple Treat!

By Nina Manique, Lystfiskerinden | Published in March 2002

Fish frikadeller is a great recipe that everyone will like, especially kids. It's easy to make, it's healthy and it tastes great! Frikadeller is an old Danish folk recipe made from either chopped beef, or fish as in this recipe. Other countries may have similar dishes but they are known as meatballs. In the old days when there was still a poor working class in Denmark, frikadeller was a great way to feed the family because any meat leftovers and scraps could be grounded and used in the frikadeller. However, one might question the quality and taste of the finished frikadellers. Fish was a cheap way to feed the family as well because there were no restrictions to how much could be caught back then. These days fish is the most expensive food you can buy in Denmark and people are obviously more concerned about what they feed their kids. With the right ingredients, frikadeller can be a special treat and it has become one of the most loved recipes in Denmark.

Serve it with white small potatoes and a light salad made of carrot and apple with a bit of raisons. You can also make a butter sauce by melting a bit of butter over the stove and serve it melted and hot.


The following ingredients are needed:

  • ½ kg cod filet and 50 grams of smoked salmon filets.
  • 1 big onion
  • 3 tbs. of wheat flour
  • 3 tbs. of potato flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/10 litre of milk
  • 50 grams of butter

It's very important all the fish is fresh, no one likes the taste of old smelly fish. The smoked salmon gives the frikadeller an extra good touch, but you can also only use cod if you choose to. The smoked salmon we use is what we called "cold smoked" so it still seems fresh and pink. You can actually use any kind of "sej fisk" (coal fish) fillets instead of cod.


Debone the fish and cut the cod and salmon into tiny pieces and put it into a bowl. Peel and cut the onion, put it into the bowl. Add flour, eggs, salt and pepper into the bowl and stir while slowly adding the milk. The dough has to rest for one hour in the fridge before continuing.

During this hour you can peel the potatoes. For best result, buy small fresh white potatoes or asparagus potatoes. Do not buy big flourish ones that are only good for baked or mashed or you'll cheat yourself of a good potato experience. Put the potatoes in a pot with just enough water to cover them and put some salt in there as well. The potatoes need to be boiled for approximately 20 minutes, depending on the size. Manage your time so the frikadeller and potatoes will be done around the same time.

If you haven't already used the whole hour to take care of the potatoes you can use the rest of the time to make the salad. Peel two or more carrots and grate them on a grater. Peel two or more apples and grate them as well. Mix the grated carrot and apple in a bowl and add freshly squeezed lemon juice. This will give a nice and fresh taste as well as keeping the grated apple from turning brown. Add raisons or place them separately on the dining table if everyone doesn't like raisons in the salad. Personally I like the raisons because I find the sour taste from the salad and the sweet taste from the raisons very compatible.

Now the dough has rested for about an hour and the tricky part comes. Take a pan and heat it on medium heat. Grease the pan with a bit of butter, it needs to be a bit greasy through it all. Take a bit of dough on the spoon and use your hand to form the frikadeller, this shouldn't take more than a few seconds each, and put it on the hot pan. Forming the frikadeller is always the part that may be problematic, especially if you are not used to it, but with a bit of practice anyone can be a master. You can probably fit around 10 frikadellers on one pan, depending on the size of your pan and frikadeller of course. Fry the frikadellers for a couple of minutes on each side until a golden brown colour can be seen. Place the finished frikadellers on a plate or glass bowl. If the frying takes too long and you are afraid the finished frikadellers are gonna get cold, turn on your oven to 100°C and put the finished frikadellers in there while you finish the rest.

When you have finished all the frikadellers and your potatoes are done, you are ready to serve. Serve with a piece of lemon on the side that can be used to sprinkle a bit of juice on the frikadellers. As you can see in the finishing picture there is a yellow substance on the plate. This is the Danish "remoulade", a sour/sweet cream that is especially used in fish dishes, but also in many other other neat Danish recipes. It is made from vegetables, and its purpose may resemble the ketchup. If you don't have remoulade, which is very likely, but you still want a dressing you can use the already mentioned butter sauce.

This recipe is a general guide to how you can cook good frikadeller but mixing it with your own ideas you'll make it even better. For instance potatoes is looked upon by Danes as Chinese look upon rice. So if you're a Chinese you might switch the potatoes with rice. It's all about the fun of cooking and the joy you get from eating what you have made. Enjoy!