Fiskeboller i hvit saus
Fish balls in white sauce

Fish balls have been a traditional food in Norway for a very long time.

When polar explorer Roald Amundsen embarked on his expedition to the Northeast Passage in 1918, he brought fish balls from Vesteraalen along as provisions.

It's easy to understand why – the dish is both delicious, cheap and easy to make!

The recipe can be varied to spice things up if you want, like this one with curry!

But you can also make the traditional recipe with white sauce, as presented below.

Fish balls in white sauce


(Makes 4 portions)

8 potatoes

6 carrots

1 large tin of fish balls

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

250ml milk 

Ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Curry (optional)



1. Peel and boil potatoes. Grate the carrots. Pour 250 ml brine from the fish ball tin into a measuring cup.

2. Sauce: Melt the butter, and stir in the flour to make a thick mixture. Dilute by adding the brine and the milk. Stir the sauce well with a whisk to prevent lumps. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and allow the sauce to simmer for approx. 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.

3. Add the fish balls and leave them in the sauce until they are thoroughly hot.

Serve the fish balls and sauce with boiled potatoes and grated carrots. Delicious!

Note: to make the version with curry, add 2 teaspoons of curry powder to the butter and fry for a few seconds before stirring in the flour.

One of the oldest fish ball factories in Norway, Vesteraalens fiskeboller, is located at Sortland in Northern Norway.

Just like in the most common recipes, their fish balls are always made from fresh cod or haddock. 

Every winter, hundreds of fishing boats gather on the blustery Vestfjord to catch skrei, a large species of cod that migrates here to spawn.

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