If you mention Finland in conversation to anyone, one of the most natural culinary associations they will make is of freshly-caught, deliciously tender fish. This would not be far off the mark – Finland has a large coastline and the abundant fishing pastures to match. As such, Finnish cuisine has an array of interesting fish dishes.
Here is a selection of our favourite and if any tickle your tastebuds, why not try our Finland experience?
Baltic Herring Rolls (Silakkarullat)
Herring fillets marinated in a sauce made up of allspice, vinegar and onions, then rolled up into tight balls. There is a very particular way of cooking them – the fillet balls are fried very closely together in a pan. The idea is to preserve as much moisture as possible and add lots of flavor. This little dish packs a flavoursome punch.
Smoked Salmon Sauce (Savulohikastike)
Finland is especially renowned for smoked fish and Gravalax (salmon smoked and seasoned with herbs) is the most famous of all. An interesting alternative is to turn smoked salmon into a sauce. This is a wonderful accompaniment to either pasta or boiled potatoes. Combine shredded smoked salmon with cream, flavour and sautéed leeks then season with dill, pepper and lemon juice.
Oven-poached pike (Uunihauki)
Pike stuffed with rice and hardboiled eggs is a Finnish delicacy. It is poached delicately in white wine or milk to preserve all the moisture in the meat. Pikes can be huge so this is a dish often used for large parties and celebrations.
In Finland, it is easy to find fresh (still alive) crayfish, however supermarkets these days sell deep-frozen or boiled crayfish that work almost as well. Boil the crayfish with fresh dill and then leave to cool, and become juicier, for a few minutes before serving.
Salmon Casserole (Lohikiusaus)
Salmon is abundant in the Gulf of Finland and so Finns have numerous ways of eating it. Salmon casserole is a hearty way to serve it during the long Finnish winter. For the sauce mix cream, milk, onions and breadcrumbs and season generously. Potatoes cut into slim sticks is a great way to bulk out this casserole into a really filling dish. Finns would traditionally serve this with pickled vegetables.