Skrei

Three cod dishes from SwedishFood.com

Skrei (pronounced Skray) is a migratory cod from Norway. Supplies tend to end up in posh restaurants, especially in the UK where Michel Rous Jr is promoting it, but the fish is so good it is worth finding a supplier if you can. For instance, in London it is usually sold in Harrods and on Borough Market it is frequently stocked by Furness Fish and Game.

Skrei logo

Skrei is only available for a limited season from January to April when the fish swim from the Barents Sea, inside the Arctic Circle, to their spawning grounds just off the Lofoten Islands. In practice, the availability in London is often restricted to about 8 weeks in February and March.

Skrei at Furness Fish in Borough Market

Skrei are powerful fish making their flesh exceptionally firm, white and supple. The Norwegians have registered Skrei as a trade name and they strictly control the fishing to preserve fish stocks so that only 10% of fish are caught, all fish are line-caught from day boats and the fish must be fully grown (about five years old) and in pristine condition with no scratches or bruising.

Skrei & chips

An advert for skrei & chips at a posh fish and chip shop in London

Some posh fish and chip shops in London even offer skrei & chips as an occasional special.

Recipes

A collage of skrei dishes

Skrei is superb simply pan fried or as shown, from left to right:

• Torsk med pepparrot och brynt smör (cod with fresh horseradish and brown butter),
• Torsk med bönor och bacon (cod with beans and bacon),
• Torsk med spenat och pinjenötter (cod with spinach and pinenuts).

All can be made with fillets or steaks.

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John Duxbury
Editor and Founder