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Fish Week – Chowder Recipe

Northern Waters Restaurant presents Fish Week: Lake Superior Fish Chowder Recipe



When Owner Eric Goerdt was building the menu for NWR he knew a really good fish chowder recipe was in order. Being purveyors of fish meant the chowder recipe needed to surpass a few expectations to make the cut. Our guidelines were pretty straightforward.

  1. It had to be a classic fish chowder.
  2. It had to be very flavorful without being too thick.
  3. It had to represent Lake Superior fish and the region we live in.
  4. It would have to be available everyday for all to love and enjoy.

Using the many years of experience we had under our belt and a little trial and error the NWR crew finalized a chowder recipe that is the offering you see on our menu. Dig in!


The Fumet

Every good soup (or in this case, chowder recipe) starts with an excellent broth. Making fumet in-Haus is something we’re extremely proud of. Lake Superior provides fresh fish year round and we couldn’t be luckier to have this resource at our fingertips. When making fumet, our kitchen fills up with an intoxicating aroma that reminds us why we put so much time and effort into what we love. This broth allows our chowder recipe to be extremely flavorful without the chowder becoming too thick.

Herring Roe

We make our roe once a year in the fall from Lake Superior herring. The process is as beautiful as it is labor intensive, and if you have ever made it yourself you know how magical adding the salt can be. Our herring roe is the perfect way to finish off our chowder.

Our chowder embodies a full representation of Lake Superior. From the Lake trout used to make the fumet, the pieces of whitefish and lake trout in the chowder, and the Herring roe used to finish it off. We hope you enjoy our chowder and the relationship it fosters with our region.

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Cooking up the beaut of a Porketta

Porketta [por’ketta]: A roasted MN Berkshire collar-butt is adorned with plenty of garlic, parsley, fennel and red pepper flakes to engulf your home with aromatics and water your mouth. Some people, like those from the great country of Italy (where the recipe originates) spell it porchetta.

We are still quite astonished with the amount of orders and new customers we have received since our appearance on the Holiday Bon Appétit issue and online “6 Stunning Mail Order Food Gifts That Won’t Reveal You Can’t Cook”.  We are still blushing and beaming in glee. 

So it’s still a little frozen (or a lot frozen)?

You can defrost your roast in your fridge with a sheet pan underneath it. This will take less than 48 hours so plan accordingly.

So you want to cook this beauty up?

Here are two ways in which you can achieve a soft roast or a crispy crust.

Crispy Crust

Heat Porketta in a 425F degree oven in a an uncovered baking dish, on a rack, until internal temperature reads 150F degrees. 
Let rest for approximately 10 mins before slicing.

Softer Roast

Heat Porketta in a 350F degree oven in a covered baking dish with 3/4 cup liquid, such as beer, stock, or water for 60-90 mins. Uncover and continue to roast until it reaches an internal temp of 165F degrees- approximately 15 min. 

Let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing, or chop the Porketta into the liquid and serve accordingly. 


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Phones Have Gremlins

What a day! Our phones are down, but delivery is up, up, up! You can place your order online via email: catering @ nwsmokehausdotcom ! Just leave your phone number and we will call you back on one of our faithful cell phones.

Thanks for bearing with us, and enjoy the snowy day.

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Décor at Northern Waters – Glørud Design

Décor at Northern Waters

Josh Rude / Glørud Design

Josh Rude’s Paddles are a recent addition to our collection of artisan work on the walls of Northern Waters Restaurant. We love showcasing the work of the insanely talented people that live here. Josh’s paddles hit all the marks. Line, color, form, shape, harmony,  presentation–these paddles are a true work of art.

We reached out to Josh to learn a bit more about the history of his work & why he chose to be a maker.

Company Name: Glørud is our Norwegian family name.  When my family moved to the US in the late 1800’s, the name was changed to Rude. Obviously the name ‘Rude Designs’ did not have the best ring to it, so I chose my Norwegian family name.

The Story: I have only been making paddles for 1-2 years, but the motivation started growing at least 10 years ago.  My wife and I met as canoe guides in the Boundary Waters off the Gunflint Trail 17 years ago. I wanted to give her a canoe paddle of her choice as an engagement gift. We shopped, and shopped but we did not find a size, shape, or design she was drawn to.  A week turned into a month and a month turned into 8 years (oops!).

We spent many years traveling, but eventually moved back to our original home of Minnesota. We wanted to get back the BWCA, but I still hadn’t given my wife a paddle. Along this journey we also had 3 kids making our finances a bit slimmer.

I decided I would build a paddle for her. It was nice try, but no engagement gift. I made another, and it was a bit better and I started to understand the process more. I made another and someone offered to buy it! I sold that paddle even though I had not given one to my wife.  Eventually I came out with a few designs which included the paddle for my wife. The Innsjø double-bent is a paddle designed specifically for her. Innsjø is the Norwegian word for ‘lake’.  We have fond memories of Long Island Lake in the BWCA while working up there.  This paddle was named for her.

The Road Ahead: The reason I continue making a paddle after I finished my wife’s is two fold.  First, I have enjoyed it.  My time in the shop is therapeutic. The simple task of working with my hands has been a good change of pace. Second, I love contributing to the community of paddlers and people that enjoy spending there time outdoors.

Take a trip up to our restaurant to view Josh’s paddles in the flesh, enjoy Haus made food, or have a drink!

More information about Glørud Design can be found at

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Attention Friends – Change is Happening!

Not all experiments work the first time — just ask Edison with his 1,000 attempts at inventing the light bulb. So while we’re grateful to our core of loyal customers who loved & supported our No Tipping policy as well as our employees who have embraced this model, it has become clear that many diners are not comfortable with it.  Out of the gate it’s also proven challenging to incorporate all of these personnel costs into the business model.

As a culture, we’ve been reading menus one way all our lives. When we rolled in the tip & tax into our competitive prices, it was easy to perceive that number as high.  So, as of January 12, 2017 Northern Waters will take on a typical tipping model.

What will change: You’ll see some lower priced items on the menu as well as the addition of some of our favorite sandwiches from our Smokehaus and Deli in Canal Park– like the Cajun Finn, Pastrami Mommy, Cold Turkey & Northern Bagel. We’re also going to make sure that our great daily specials and happy hour are out there on social media. Please tune in!

What WILL NOT change: We’re proud to continue with our paid sick and vacation time for employees — a rarity in our industry. And we assure you that will still have the same high quality, haus-made food you know and love. We’ll continue to use age-old methods to cure and smoke our own meats, support other local businesses by sourcing our ingredients, supporting our employees’ commitment to equity and create a beautiful dining environment.

Lastly, thanks for coming in to Northern Waters. We love making you some of the best food anywhere.


Eric, Lynn and our entire Northern Waters family

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Duluth Winter Village

Season’s Greetings from this side of Lake Superior.

We are gearing up for the Holiday Season and we’re thinking about extra opportunities for you to have access to our products that make any gathering, extra special.

We will be at the Duluth Winter Village on December 3rd and 4th from 10 AM to 5PM.

We will be selling Salamini, Pepperoni, Saucisson Sec and Chorizo on sight. Unfortunately, we won’t have any of our smoked meats of fish due to the small space.
However, there will be information about our Catering Services, Delivery and Mail Order.  We’ll also have gift certificates for Northern Waters Restaurant and the Smokehaus for sale on sight.

THIS JUST IN: Buy $100 in gift cards, receive a free $20 gift card.


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“garde manger” A Smokehaus Pantry Dinner

A first of its kind.
“garde manger”
A Smokehaus Pantry Dinner

WHERE: Northern Waters Restaurant
1600 Woodland Ave
Duluth, Mn 55811

WHEN: Sunday, November 20th



Will be featuring the food we have spent years researching, making & falling in love with.


Join us on this 5 course decadent carnivore friendly feast. Fromage and wine pairings. Caviar and rose.
Fall into temptation of gourmet hors d’eouvers and palate cleansers.

As Eric and team test the menu, we will be sharing more mouth-watering details.
You have been warned, Duluthians. Mark your calendar for a hearty yet delicate meal for fall.

Tickets for this event are $100.
In true Smokehaus style, no one goes home hungry.

Call the deli: 218.724.7307 for more information & ticket details.
We have 40 seats open.

20 tickets available at Northern Waters Smokehaus (218.724.7307)
20 tickets available at Northern Waters Restaurant (218.249.1957)

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Why Berkshire?
Berkshire Pork is a driving force around our Smokehaus team. The marble in the fat and its fat content renders a soft, chewy and luxurious Pork.
We believe in using the best-of-the-best in Heritage Berkshire Pork because of its moist texture, superb marbling and juicy meat.
Did you know that the when Berkshire Pork is certified by the Heritage Berkshire Program it’s referred to as Kurobuta? Kurobuta is like wagyu beef and/or jidori chicken.

It’s no secret that the biggest inspiration comes from a quality beginning. When we begin our creative process with Berkshire Pork, we are only enhancing it’s succulent flavor by pairing it with other well(local when possible) sourced ingredients.

The HausBao

With our first inspiration being Berkshire, Our second inspiration comes from traditional Chinese roots, the contemporary food culture of BaoHaus, and our adoration for the sweet, succulent & crunchy bao sandwich.That’s just the beginning & the inspiration. We then do what the island of food weirdos does best and we add a Smokehaus twist.

TherE are two ways to achieve this recipe to maximum delicious.
Please make note that all the quick-pickle veggies must be made the day before you wish to enjoy the Bao.


For the Pork Belly
Buy a nice slab of Pork Belly from your local co-op, butcher, or local Asian Market.

1.25 lb -Pork Belly
2 T -Rice Vinegar
4 T- Soy Sauce
2 T -Ginger, minced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
¼ Serrano Pepper, minced (optional)

For the Quick Pickled Veggies

1 Daikon, julienned
2 large Carrots, julienned
1 Cucumber, sliced thinly
4-5 small Red Radish, sliced thinly
1 small Red Onion, sliced thinly
3 C White Vinegar
3 C Water
1 C Sugar
1 T Salt

For the mayo

1.5 Serrano Chiles, minced  **2 whole peppers if you like it super spicy**
2 C Mayo


Small bunch  cilantro, minced
2 T Marcona almonds,minced. (**lightly toasting them is optional)
1 Green onion, sliced at a bias.

The Bun


1 bag of Buns: GWA PAO (Bánh Bao Kep) **find these at your local Coop or Asian Market.
Heat these up in the oven for a 1-2 mins, flipping these to have a hint of golden. You can use the previous 425F temperature.



salt_bao          sear_bao           deglaze_bao

Long Way

1. Season a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper on both sides of the belly –not too much. Wrap the Pork Belly in two layers of tin-foil and roast it slow for 275 F. Leave the wrapped-up Pork Belly in tin foil to rest until it reaches room temperature and it’s ready to be refrigerated.

2. Refrigerate overnight in its juices (in the tin foil).

3. Slice the cooled Pork Belly into 1/2 inch pieces.

4. In a bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce and the minced ginger, garlic and optional Serrano.

5. Heat up a saute pan, cast iron or wok with a little bit of high temperature oil (like peanut or Canola) on high heat and sear your sliced Pork Belly. Allow each side of the Pork Belly to brown and swirl in some oil as you’re adding more slices (don’t overlap slices).

6. Lower to medium-low heat and add the ginger, soy sauce & rice vinegar. Allow each slice to simmer in the sauce for 10 minutes.

**Quick way

(pre-heat oven to 425F)

1. Season a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper on both sides of the belly –not too much.

2. Brown your belly. Heat up your cast iron or oven safe saute pan to high temperature. Use high temperature oil (like peanut or canola) and wait until your pan begins to smoke to before you place the belly. Sear each side (edges, too) of the belly leaving each area beautifully brown.

3. Foil the top of your cast iron & bake the pork for 20 minutes on each side until it reaches temperature (150F). Let it rest for 10 mins and slice in ½ inch slices.

4. With your pan at medium heat,  add the soy sauce to coat the bottom of the pan & mix in the minced garlic and serrano pepper. Place the sliced pork belly in the pan without them overlapping. Add the rice wine vinegar to deglaze and caramelize the bellies. Make sure to equally flip these over.

Mix the minced Serrano with the mayo and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the Baos.


1. Combine all of your prepared veggies in a stainless steel bowl (it’ll help them cool faster).

2. Bring your Vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a rapid boil. Boil for 2 mins.

3. Pour the boiling vinegar mix into the veggies and refrigerate overnight.
**For faster cooling veggies place the veggies in a larger bowl with water and place it in the freezer for a couple hours (don’t let them freeze).


Assembling the HausBao


1. Smear mayo on the bun.
2. Place your Pork Belly.
3. Add your pickled veggies (enough to fill the rest of the bun).
4. Sprinkle the minced accoutrements on your Bao.
5. Add Sriracha for spice and flavor.

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A day in the life of a Deli extraordinaire

Meet our outdoor enthusiast, effortlessly stylistic skater & photographer, Lloyd Fischer. Lloyd is a sandwich slayer and customer service sweetheart.
Greeting tourists, locals, and customers with a smile and attentiveness, he’s been kind enough to share his skills with us at Northern Waters Smokehaus.

As a summer and outdoor lover, Lloyd takes multiple camping trips a season. On a recent interview with the local website Duluth Loves Local, Lloyd expressed how “exploring the geographical beauty of the Twin Ports region” inspires and happens to be a favorite activity of his.

It’s hard not to take advantage of our geographical location. Creating by the vast Lake Superior and the closeness of the north woods, camping and beach bumming seems like one of the most appropriate activities to do.

We asked Lloyd what he takes when he goes on his BWCA adventures and it turn out he packs a little bit of everything.
In order to portage and hike the beautiful scenery of the BWCA grounds, he brings thinly sliced Maple-Sage Smoked Turkey for some sandwich fixings. He also packs our dry-cured Salumi (Saucisson & Salamini) for the perfect snacks. Our dry-cured Salumi is shelf-stable and it does not need to be refrigerated which makes it the perfect camping & hiking snack.

Catch Lloyd in the shop or maybe in the streets. He’s usually out skating around the downtown area, and check out his interpretation of our smoked Atlantic salmon with dill and saucisson sec below.

Happy camping & happy summer!

a piece of smoked salmon coated in dill on an Epicurean cutting board              saucisson sec from northern waters smokehaus on an Epicurean cutting board