A tyipcal lutefisk meal involves parboiling or steaming prepared lutefisk and serving it with sides such as potatoes and mashed peas. You can flavor lutefisk using melted butter, syrups and white sauces.
Preparing lutefisk is a 10-day process that breaks down dried whitefish into its final gelatinous product. Lutefisk available for sale in North America has usually gone through this preparation process and is suitable for microwave cooking. Other preparation methods include parboiling, steaming and baking. Regardless of the cooking method, lutefisk has a very fragile consistency and cooks quickly; it may fall apart if allowed to cook for too long.
Some common side dishes to serve with lutefisk include bacon, green pea stew, meatballs, mashed rutabega and goat cheese. It is also common to serve lutefisk with beer and akvavit for celebratory occasions. In Nordic countries, the most common season for serving lutefisk is throughout November and December.
The smell that lutefisk sometimes carries is a product of lutefisk made using cod or other smelly species of fish. Some species, such as haddock and pollock, have little to no scent after preparation as lutefisk. Lutefisk possesses a mild taste that absorbs and takes on the flavor the sauces used with it.