Fishy Swedish translations that make you hanker for all things fish!

Fish is a favorite dish in Sweden. And there’s no denying that Swedes know how to cook and prepare fish right! Thankfully, it is none of the batter-dipped, fried-to-death or chargrilled stuff us North Americans normally associate with fish fillets. Instead, fish is usually served with dreamy sauces, dill-infused fresh potatoes and crisp vegetables. Or if you’ve ever tried Fiskgrätang (a sort of Fisherman’s Pie) with its creamy goodness, you will fall in love with this ocean creature. I never really liked fish before moving to Sweden, but have discovered what I’ve missed. It is so deliciously divine.

Saffron Fish Stew (Fiskgryta)

Besides the ubiquitous Swedish pickled herring, some of my favorite fish dishes are fiskgryta (fish stew usually flavored with saffron), dill-laden salmon pudding, salmon mousse with caviar sauce and any fish with a delightful Hollandaise sauce. The Swedes (and definitely the Norwegians) know how to let the natural flavor of fish come through in a delicate way. It’s a lot about the texture and the balance of flavors in the dish. There’s so much to try, they’ve even invented a unique and fabulous seafood sandwich cake (smörgåstårta) made up of fish, shrimp and roe that is literally OFF THE HOOK.

Salmon pudding (Laxpudding)


Fine-looking Nordic fisherman next to a fine-looking Hälleflundra (Halibut)

For those trying to find the equivalent fish in Swedish recipes, I have compiled a list of fish translations that are hard-to-find even through Google Translate:


  • ABORRE=perch or bass
  • BERGTUNGA=lemon sole
  • GÖS=pike-perch
  • KOLJA=haddock
  • HÄLLEFLUNDRA=halibut
  • KUNGSFISK=Norway haddock, red perch, red bream, golden redfish
  • LAX=salmon
  • MAKRILL=mackerel
  • MARULK=monkfish
  • RÖD SNAPPER=red snapper
  • RÖDING=Arctic char
  • RÖDTUNGA=flounder or gray sole
  • RÖDSPÄTTA=plaice
  • SEJ=pollock
  • SILL=herring
  • SJÖTUNGA=Dover sole
  • STENBIT=lumpfish
  • STRÖMMING=herring
  • TORSK=cod

And now to try some recipes! Here is a wonderful Swedish Fish Pie recipe by (Swedish only) conveniently translated to English :-):

Swedish Fish Pie (Fiskgratäng)

Fiskgratäng or Fish Pie (Gratinerad Fish Pie)


  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of white pepper
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 eggs yolks
  • 4 tablespoons cream
  • 0.5 cube fish bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons dill, chopped
  • 1.5 dl of water
  • 2 dl milk
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 100 grams of small cooked shrimp, peeled

Mashed potato topping

  • 0.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 25 g of butter (or to taste)
  • 0.5 dl of milk or cream
  • 500 g of potatoes or more depending on how much you want as a topping


  • 2 pinches salt
  • 400 g of fish fillets (use cod, haddock, salmon or a nice mix of any tasty fish)
  • 0.5 tbsp butter, for lining


  1. Heat the oven to 200C degrees.
  2. Line a glass or oven-safe casserole dish with butter or margarine.
  3. Place the fish on the bottom and salt it.
  4. Cover the fish with foil and cook in the oven for approx. 15 minutes.
  5. When the fish is ready, remove from the oven and raise the heat to 250C degrees.
  6. Continue to cook the mashed potatoes by heating water in a saucepan with the lid on at the highest heat.
  7. Peel the potatoes in the meantime and divide potatoes if the size is uneven.
  8. When the water boils, put in the potatoes. The water should evenly cover the potatoes.
  9. Add salt and boil under the lid until the potatoes are soft, about 20-30 minutes.
  10. While the potatoes are cooking, continue with the sauce.
  11. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat and lift the pan from the plate.
  12. Add flour to the melted butter and stir.
  13. Sprinkle with milk and water, a little bit at a time while using a whip to beat it. Beat to make the mixture completely smooth.
  14. Let the sauce boil on low heat for about 3 minutes.
  15. Place the fish bouillon cube into the sauce and season with salt, pepper and squeezed lemon.
  16. Mix the egg yolk with the cream. Pour the egg mixture while whipping into the hot sauce. Note that the sauce cannot boil more from this point.
  17. Add dill and shrimp and mix.
  18. After the potatoes are done, strain the potatoes, place it in a mixing bowl and whip the potatoes with an electric whip while it is still hot.
  19. Add the milk, egg yolk, salt, pepper and butter to the mashed potatoes and mix thoroughly.
  20. Pour the sauce over the fish.
  21. Place the ready mashed potatoes in a piping bag or cut-out food storage bag.
  22. Pipe the mashed potatoes around the edges or evenly across the casserole dish.
  23. Bake in the upper part of the oven for about 5 minutes or until the dish turns a nice browned color.
  24. Serve with a salad!

Or try these British Fish Pie versions that look quite tasty!

Gordon Ramsay’s Fish Pie

Chef John’s Fisherman’s Pie

Smaklig måltid!


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Categories: Swedish Food


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