• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 6 Servings


  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Fish, Finnish

 Ingredients List

  • ----------------------------------FILLING----------------------------------
  • 2 lb Fish, small
  • 1 1/2 lb Pork, sliced into
  • -strips like bacon,
  • -but about 1/4 to 1/2
  • -inch thick
  • 3 tb Salt (omit salt if
  • -pork is already salted)
  • Allspice (optional;
  • -traditionalists omit
  • -this)


2 1/2 c Water
3 1/4 c Rye flour (sifted)
1 3/4 c Wheat flour, about
4 ts Salt
1/2 oz Yeast (2 standard

Clean the fish, removing fins, large scales and entrails. You may leave the
heads if you dare to eat them.

Mix the flours and salt. Add the yeast to the water. When the yeast is
fully dissolved, make a thick dough by pouring flour mixture into water and
blending well. The ratio of flour to water depends on the nature of the
flours. This ratio of 1:2 by volume works well in Finland with Finnish
flours. Where flours contain more gluten you should use slightly less

Set aside about 4 T of dough to be used later. Roll out the remaining
dough into a circular shape about 3/4 inch thick.

Assemble the meats into the dough: cover the inner half of the dough
circle with half of the pork (the pork should cover a circle whose diameter
is half the diameter of the rolled dough). Then put all of the fish over
top of the pork, and add allspice and extra salt if you are using them.
Finish with the second half of the pork.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Lift the edges of the dough all around the
filling and glue together with a little water so that you have the filling
surrounded from all directions with about 3/4-inch-thick dough. Put upside
down (the seam downwards) on a baking sheet and let it rise about half an
hour at room temperature.

Put the kalakukko in a 500 degree F. oven for long enough to brown the
dough, which will seal it against moisture. Then lower the temperature to
about 250 degrees F. and let it bake for 4 to 7 hours depending on the size
of the fish (bigger fish need more cooking time). You can brush some melted
butter over the top of the dough just after lowering the temperature; this
will give it a prettier appearance. If it starts to leak while baking, fill
holes with the dough which was set aside.

Serve hot or cold.


* Rye bread pie with fish and pork filling This is an ancient national
food prepared and eaten in Savo (eastern Finland).

* Kalakukko was used as travelers' food because it stays edible very long
when unopened. Also in medieval times salt was the only way to preserve
meat and it was expensive, so with this way you could use all the salt in
salt pork. The word kala-kukko means fish-cock (the bird).

* You can use any small fish (shorter than about 8 inches). Small scales
and spikes don't matter because they soften during the prolonged cooking.
Make sure you use un-smoked pork.

: Difficulty: moderate (some skill with dough is required).
: Time: 45 minutes preparation, 30 minutes attended baking, 4-7 hours
unattended baking.
: Precision: Careful measurement not necessary, but the consistency of the
dough (which will depend on the nature of your flours) is important. If the
dough is either too soft or too hard, the kalakukko will leak.

 Share this Recipe

Recipes by Course

Recipes by Main Ingredient

Recipes by Cuisine

Recipes by Preparation

Recipes by Occasion

Recipes by Dietary

Sign Up and Create a Cookbook Today!

Please Sign in to your Account or Sign up if you are new user.

Who loves our Healthy Recipes?