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Roasted Norwegian haddock with bacon & rye crisp

January 18, 2014

I love fish and seafood. If you sit me in a restaurant with fish on the menu, 90% of the time I’ll go for it – especially if it once had a shell. One of my foodie regrets is that I missed out on years of mussel eating in France because I thought they looking weird. Oh how foolish I was. If anyone wants to send me to France to atone for my mussel-misdemeanours by catching up on my share of bi-valve consumption then I’d be more than happy to hear from you.

Anyway. The point is that when the Norwegian Seafood Council invited Mr B and I to Aveqia for a day of cooking fish with Signe Johansen I wasn’t about to say no…. except I did. Sort of. I’ve recently changed jobs and there was no way I could swing an afternoon off work to stuff my face, so I did what any sensible person would do and went along for the evening to eat what everyone else had cooked!

Signe and the Norwegian Seafood team are incredibly passionate about the fact that fish from Norwegian waters is sustainably farmed to protect both the fish and local communities (even cod). I could tell you that I’m only ever going to buy Norwegian fish from now on because its better for the environment and I really should. If I’m honest though, it’s the taste of the juicy, bouncy cod in the chowder we ate and the smoked salmon you see below, that is most likely to motivate me to search for NSC branded fish. Also, I can’t wait to try Skrei when it’s available over here. Apparently it’s super-cod. More of that another time though.

Signe Johanssen's salmon and pancakes

Norwegian Smoked Salmon on Rye Pancakes

Given that the time for canapés is over, I’m not going to share with you the recipe for my favourite dish of the evening – Norwegian smoked salmon with pickled cucumber and beetroot on rye & spelt mini pancakes, horseradish creme fraiche (with wild dill pollen from Global Harvest).

You can find recipes and see great photos at The Food Connoisseur,  TikiChris and Hot and Chilli ‘s blogs.

Instead I’m going to share with you the recipe that is top of my “to make” list from the USB key we were given. It’s so simple that I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t done it yet. Toasted rye breadcrumbs blitzed with crunchy bacon sat on top of oven baked haddock…. ready, set….

Signe Johansen Haddock recips

Haddock with a rye and bacon crisp

Roasted Norwegian haddock with bacon & rye crisp

By Signe Johansen for the Norwegian Seafood Council

There is something really comforting about this dish, and it’s a doddle to make. The bacon adds a deep, savoury flavour to the crisp topping and the rye bread adds crunch and a slightly sweet, earthiness. Any extra bacon & rye crisp can be kept in an airtight bag or tupperware box for sprinkling on salads, in soups and as a garnish on sandwiches or other savoury dishes. If you’re making this during the winter months then a mix of steamed winter greens works really well as an accompaniment.

 Serves 6


  • 250g rye bread (A Danish or German-style dark rye is best for this recipe)
  • 200g smoked streaky bacon
  • 6 pieces of 150-170g fillets of Norwegian haddock
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Sea vegetables for garnish and a salad to serve alongside


Start by preheating the oven to 120°C. Place the rye bread slices in an even layer on a wire rack and allow to dry out for 20 minutes, if sliced thinly, or up to 40 minutes if you like chunkier slices. If the bread is already dry and stale, simply blitz it in a blender or magimix and set aside while you cook the bacon.

In a frying pan pour a tablespoon of vegetable oil and fry the bacon in two batches over a medium heat until the bacon is crisp, the fat has rendered and the fat is a golden-brown colour. Remove from the pan and dry on kitchen paper. Keep the bacon fat that’s left in the pan.

Allow the bacon to cool completely, then break up into pieces and blitz in a blender or magimix to a fine consistency. Remove from the blender and blitz the rye bread (if you haven’t already done so) to a similar consistency. In a bowl, mix both the bacon and rye bread together and drizzle some of the bacon fat left in the saucepan over the mixture to bring it together so it’s not a dry powder. Taste the mixture, it should be salty and have a delicious bacon-rye flavour.

Crank up the oven to 200°C and in a roasting dish place the six pieces of haddock, making sure to space them evenly apart. Rub a little oil around each fillet piece and season with a small amount of salt and a good amount of pepper, then sprinkle the bacon rye mixture on top of each slice so you have a really good coating to create a crisp crust when roasting.

Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the haddock. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with a selection of sea vegetables and a seasonal salad of your choice.

With thanks to the Norwegian Seafood Council for inviting me to the event. /// @norwayseafood ///

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