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24 Delicious Finnish Dishes Everyone Should Learn To Cook

Once you've made korvapuusti once, you'll never stop.

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1. A light and fluffy mustikkapiirakka

Traditional Finnish blueberry pie is really more like a cake. It doesn't have a pastry crust, and its batter is made out of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. It's best served with ice cream and a strong coffee as an afternoon treat. Find a recipe here.

2. Warming kaalikaaryleet

Cabbage rolls are fiddly to make, but they're definitely worth the effort. Stuffed full of ground beef, breadcrumbs, rice, and onions, they make for a delicious dinner when you fancy something comforting. They're often served with syrup, but many Finns just eat them with lingonberry jam. Find a recipe here.

3. Creamy nakkikastike

Usually served with boiled potatoes, Finnish hot dog sauce is the ultimate comfort food. It's basically sautéed hot dogs, which are then fried and then doused in a thick onion sauce. Find a recipe here.

4. Squeaky leipajuusto

Often referred to as "squeaky cheese" by Finns, "leipajuusto" literally means "bread cheese". Here's a recipe that'll tell you how to make it from scratch, but you're probably best buying the ready-made stuff from IKEA and heating it in the oven. Finns serve it hot, with cold milk, and cloudberry jam.

5. A comforting pot of kesakeitto

Literally translated, "kesakeitto" means "summer soup". But don't let its name trick you into thinking it's light. Containing carrots, potatoes, green beans, cauliflower, spinach, and a whole lot of whipping cream, this it's a filling soup. Finns eat it with rye bread, but it goes with pretty much anything. Find a recipe here.

6. A hearty kalakukko

This fish pie originates from Savo, in eastern Finland. It's incredibly fiddly to make, and involves baking small fish (typically vendance or perch) in a thick rye crust, but it's well worth the effort. It can be eaten hot or cold, and it's sliced like a cake. Find a recipe here.

7. A pot of light and fluffy vispipuuro

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Whipped porridge is made with semolina and served cold. Although Finns usually make it with lingonberries, you can also use strawberries, raspberries, or cranberries. Find a recipe here.

8. Perfectly round lihapullat

What makes Finnish meatballs different to Swedish or Italian meatballs is that they're made with kermaviili, Finnish curd cream. You can replace it with low fat crème fraîche, but it's not quite the same. Find a recipe here.

9. A bowl of punchy rosolli

This cold Christmas salad combines beetroot, carrots, potatoes, onion, apples, and gherkins. It's tangy and utterly delicious. Find a recipe here.

10. Thin, crispy piparkakku

Finnish gingerbread cookies taste so good because they're packed full of ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. They're best served with a cold glass of milk just before bedtime. Find a recipe here.

11. Delicious karjalanpiirakka

Karelian rice pies are complicated to make but if you make a huge batch, you can freeze them. They're rye bread crusts filled with a thick rice porridge. Finns serve them with munavoi, or egg butter, which is a mixture of chopped hard-boiled eggs and butter. Find a recipe here.

12. Salty silakat

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There are lots of ways Finns grill herring, but our favourite is combining lime juice, peppercorns, and lots of salt. Find a recipe here.

13. Mouth-watering korvapuusti

Translated, "korvapuusti" means "slapped ears". They're cardamom buns filled with brown sugar, and cinnamon and they're probably the best thing to come out of northern Europe. They take a while to cook, but the smell they create in your house while they bake in the oven will make it worth it. Find a recipe here.

14. Creamy korvasienimuhennos

This mushroom ragout is the perfect accompaniment to any vegetable side dish. "Korvasieni" are brain mushrooms, and they're commonly used in Finnish cooking. Because they contain gyromitrin, the mushrooms must be boiled twice before being braised in butter and stewed in cream. But brain mushrooms can be tricky to source, so find a recipe that replaces them with more common mushrooms here.

15. A warming bowl of mannapuuro

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Semolina porridge is made with milk, semolina, and lots of butter. It's a perfect wintery breakfast, and it best served with lots of berries. Find a recipe here.

16. A loaf of ruisleipa

Like any bread, making rye bread takes time. In fact, it takes about an hour. But my god, it's worth it. Find a recipe here.

17. A scrummy serving of perunalaatikko

Another winter favourite, sweetened potato casserole involves boiling, mashing, and baking potatoes with sugar, cream, and flour. It's a delicious and filling side dish, which you can also add nutmeg and treacle to. Find a recipe here.

18. Thick pannukakku

Finnish oven-baked pancakes are incredibly simple to make, and mean that you get to eat pancakes without standing over the griddle for hours. They're best served hot with berry compote and cream. Find a recipe here.

19. A bowl of delicious kalakeitto

Finnish fish stew is usually made with perch, pike, lake trout, or salmon. It combines the fish with onions, potatoes, and dill, and is a perfect lunchtime treat. Find a recipe here.

20. A comforting bowl of riisipuuro

Finnish rice pudding is often served for breakfast, but can be eaten at any time of day. It's best served topped with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Some Finns will also add cold milk to their bowls. Find a recipe here.

21. Tasty graavilohi

Freshly salted salmon, or what the Swedish call "gravlax" is made by marinading salmon in salt, sugar and pepper. Finns often serve it with rye bread and top it with dill. Find a recipe here.

22. A yummy bowl of hernekeitto

Finnish split pea and ham soup is made with ham hock, potatoes, carrots, and onion, and is very simple to cook. Find a recipe here. Vegetarians can leave out the ham hock.

23. Wintery porkkanalaatikko

Another traditional Finnish Christmas food, carrot bake is made with carrots, rice, eggs, and breadcrumbs. You can substitute the carrot for swede, or use both root vegetables together. Find the recipe here.

24. Delicious luumukiisseli

Finnish prune soup is made with prunes, cinnamon, and potato starch, and is typically made around Christmas time. If you don't have potato starch, you can use flour instead. Find a recipe here.

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