Freshwater whitefish with mash made of potatoes and celeriac

Freshwater whitefish are found mainly in the relatively cool waters throughout the northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere: in Finland, Sweden and Estonia, and on rare occasions they have been found in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Russia. This means that most of you probably haven’t even heard of this small and tasty fish. Very much like the Baltic herring, which when eaten with a mash made of potatoes and celeriac is a very tasty dish, but in my opinion the freshwater whitefish is superior.

Small freshwater whitefish and small herrings are more enjoyable to eat compared to their bigger cousins. Even as an experienced fish eater I still want to remove those little needles before I eat. Smaller ones you can eat just like that, bite and swallow – the bones are so tiny and smooth that you don’t even notice them.

Some time ago I happened to read an article concerning the size of freshwater whitefish. They are getting smaller, which foreshadows the decrease of the population, meaning that finding lovely small whitefish in the store is now a mixed blessing.  

Little fish are also quite easy to gut: cut the head off, put your finger in, open the little belly and clean away the innards. However, some people can’t stand this kind of disgusting work and they are better off buying their fish already gutted.

Obs! If you have to bread the fish with gluten free flours, rice flour and buckwheat flour mixture gives the best result.

A mash made of potatoes and celeriac is an excellent choice for side dish for this fish. Celeriac isn’t very strongly aromatic and when cooked the taste gets even smoother.

The recipe for potato mash with celeriac can be found here.
The recipe for Granny’s cucumbers can be found here.

PORTION: 4 servings
TIME TO MAKE: 20 minutes (if gut already)


  • 500 G gut freshwater whitefish (or herrings, pilchards…)
  • 2 dl rye flour
  • salt, black pepper (to your taste)
  • butter for baking

For gluten free breading: 1 dl rice flour and 1 dl buckwheat flour

Mix rye flour, salt and pepper on a plate. Heat a frying pan and bake the fish on both sides for about 2-3 minutes. Keep the temperature low enough not to burn the fish or butter in order to get a beautifully golden brown and crusty fish.

If you accidentally burn the butter, or if there are some small burnt crumbs in the pan, then make sure to clean it before starting with the next portion.

Tags: baked fish freshwater whitefishFinnish cuisine

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