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Geography & culture are reflected in these recipes from western, where sea buckthorn grows along the Baltic Sea coast và the Ostrobothnia region is known for its potato farming tradition.

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Western is a region with numerous potato farms. Try the potato pancake recipe in this article.

Photo: Roni Rekomaa/Lehtikuva

It’s unusual to see a recipe that calls for a wooden plank & pegs.

Those are some of the things you need for loimu, the Finnish word for “blaze,” which refers lớn cooking a fish slowly next to lớn a fire, not in or over the flames. It creates a unique taste and texture. The technique is in use all over, but we’re placing the recipe here, by the long Baltic Sea coastline.

There’s also a recipe for gravlax, a type of cured salmon that is popular all over the Nordic countries. Our version uses sea buckthorn berries, not lemon slices, to lớn provide a flourish of sourness.

The western Finnish region of Ostrobothnia is well known as potato country, & potato pancakes are a delicacy that goes with the territory. Tasty setsuuri bread, a loaf that derives its name from the Swedish words söt (sweet) and sur (sour), is slightly sweet and a tiny bit sour – try it and you’ll see what we mean.

By staff, May 2022Recipes và descriptions supplied by Timo Lepistö

Potato pancakes (perunaletut)

A farmer in western has just pulled up a potato plant. Well, you didn’t really think that potatoes grew in a grocery store, did you?Photo: Roni Lehti/Lehtikuva

These delicious potato pancakes come from the western coast of và are counterparts khổng lồ eastern Finnish blinis (see our danh mục of recipes from eastern

Mashed potatoes:

500 g starchy potatoes3 dl whole milk25 g butter

Peel the potatoes and cut each into four pieces. Boil or steam them, drain the water away & mash them. Add hot milk và butter & whisk vigorously until very smooth.


5 dl mashed potatoes3 dl whole milk2 dl all-purpose flour2 or 3 eggs2 tsp saltGrated nutmeg and ground pepper

In a bowl showroom the milk lớn the warm mashed potatoes and whisk. Add the eggs one by one, địa chỉ cửa hàng the spices và whisk until smooth. Adjust thickness with all-purpose flour until it resembles thick pancake batter & mix until fully blended.

Place a pancake pan or a blini pan over medium-high heat và heat the pan thoroughly. địa chỉ cửa hàng a thin layer of butter or cooking oil at the bottom of the pan và pour the batter, about 50% dl for each pancake. Cook for about one minute or until surface is set, then turn. Add a bit of clarified butter or oil and cook for one minute. Serve with a dollop of salmon roe & créme fraiche with chives.

Setsuuri bread

It looks much like any other bread, but setsuuri has a uniquely delicious taste.Photo: Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva

This recipe comes from the southwestern coastal city of Turku and derives its unusual taste from the seasonings. Its name reflects the Swedish words söt (sweet) & sur (sour). (Finnish & Swedish are both official languages in, & many Swedish-speaking Finns live along the west and south coasts of the country.)

Around holidays, it is customary to add a few handfuls of raisins or other dried fruit lớn the dough, along with some dried bitter-orange peel.

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5 dl buttermilk50 g fresh yeast7 dl all-purpose flour7 dl sifted rye flour350 g golden syrup2 tsp ground anise seeds2 tsp ground caraway seeds1 tsp dried bitter-orange peel (optional)

Dissolve the yeast in warm buttermilk along with 250 grams of the syrup, and add the spices. địa chỉ the both kinds of flour & blend. Work the dough with a hook attachment for 15 minutes in a stand mixer, or by hand for around 20 minutes, until the dough is smooth và shiny. Cover the bowl và let it rise for 45 minutes.

Divide the dough into two pieces & shape into loaves on a flour-dusted counter. Cover again và leave to rise for another 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Mix the remaining syrup with 1 dl of water lớn make a wash for brushing the loaves during baking.

Preheat the oven khổng lồ 175 degrees Celsius.

Bake the loaves in the oven for one hour. After around đôi mươi minutes, brush the loaves with the syrup wash. Brush them every 15 minutes, và one last time after you take the loaves out of the oven. Let cool completely before serving.

Cured salmon (gravlax) with sea buckthorn

On an island near the west-coast town of Rauma, sea buckthorn berries turn orange as they ripen on shrubs with pointy leaves & thorns. In the background is Kylmäpihlaja Lighthouse, now a restaurant & hotel.Photo: Martti Kainulainen/Lehtikuva

Salmon prepared as gravlax (this Swedish term is also used in English) or graavilohi (in Finnish) is a staple in Nordic celebrations and one of the region’s best-known delicacies. You can also use other suitable fish, such as whitefish. This version from the southwestern Finnish archipelago uses sea buckthorn berries, so there is no need for lemon wedges.

700 g salmon fillet, deboned2 tbsp salt2 tbsp sugar1 tsp trắng pepper, crushed (optional)1/2 dl cold-pressed sea buckthorn juicefresh dill

Cut the salmon fillet into two equal pieces. Mix salt, sugar và pepper. Pat the fillets dry, spread the spice mix on top và put the fillets into a clean plastic bag. Put the bag onto a tray & set a plate or two on đứng top as a weight. Cure for 24 hours in the fridge, wash the salt and sugar mix off and place the fillets into the bag again. Pour the sea buckthorn juice into the bag, seal và cure for another 24 hours. Cut the fish into thin slices and add fresh dill and few sea buckthorn berries.

Blazed whitefish (loimusiika)


To “blaze” a fish, you attach a filet khổng lồ a board using wooden pegs and place it just close enough khổng lồ the fire. (This picture shows salmon, not whitefish.)Photo: Visit

Loimu, a Finnish word for “blaze” or “flame,” designates a technique for cooking a fillet of fatty fish, rather than a recipe for a plated course. Cooking a fish slowly next to a campfire (or in a fireplace – see note below) creates a unique taste & texture, and contributes lớn the atmosphere. You need to prepare a few things ahead of time, but otherwise this is a relatively easy process. The recipe calls for whitefish, but people also cook salmon this way.

1 large whitefish fillet, deboned1 tbsp salt per kilogam of fishcrushed juniper berries or black pepper (optional)a plank of alder or other broad-leaved treewooden pegs

Drill holes into the plank about 15 centimetres apart, for the pegs that will hold the fish fillet. Remember to địa chỉ cửa hàng a hole for the tail in the middle of the other end. Season the fish & attach the fillet firmly into the plank using wooden pegs. Don’t use regular nails, because the fish around the nails would cook too quickly.

Estimate the right distance from the fire by using your hand – you should be able khổng lồ keep your hand in the heat for a moment. Place the plank vertically, tail-side up, at a slight angle, so that the thicker side of the fillet is closer to lớn fire. This way the fillet will cook evenly. Wait until it is cooked but not overdone. Enjoy with archipelago bread (from our các mục of Finnish baked-goods recipes (coming soon)) & akvavit (distilled spirits, usually flavoured with caraway).

Note: It is possible lớn cook loimu fish in an indoor fireplace, depending on the form size of the fireplace. You have to clear a space for it, usually leaning the plank against one side and making the fire on the other side. You also need lớn ensure that any smoke from the fish will go up the chimney, and that you have a way khổng lồ remove the plank from the fireplace when the fish is ready. If in doubt, stick to outdoor venues.