Finnish Salmon Stew for Saint Urho Day

This past week was alot of Saint’s Days to celebrate, the big one of course Saint Patrick’s Day.  We put on our green and headed to the state capital for a parade in some 78 degree    summer weather here in Mpls.  Record number of people out celebrating, who knew there are so many Irish.  This year I also learned of a new Saint’s holiday from an art director I was working with on set last week.  The day before St. Pats is Saint Urho Day, March 16th.  You probably have not heard of this holiday if you have not grown up in northern MN.

“The legend of St. Urho originated in Northern Minnesota in the 1950s. However, there are differing opinions as to whether it began with the fables created by Sulo Havumaki of Bemidji, or the tongue-in-cheek tales told by Richard Mattson of Virginia. Either way, the legend has grown among North Americans of Finnish descent to the point where St. Urho is known and celebrated across the United States and Canada, and even in Finland.

St. Urho’s Day is celebrated on March 16th, the day prior to the better known feast of some minor saint from Ireland, who was alleged to have driven the snakes from that island.

The legend of St. Urho says he chased the grasshoppers out of ancient Finland, thus saving the grape crop and the jobs of Finnish vineyard workers. He did this by uttering the phrase: “Heinäsirkka, heinäsirkka, mene täältä hiiteen” (roughly translated: “Grasshopper, grasshopper, go to Hell!”). His feast is celebrated by wearing the colors Royal Purple and Nile Green. ”

To go along with this holiday they have a Mojakka cook-off. What is Mojakka you ask? There is so much to learn.  “Mojakka (pronounced MOY-a-kah) is a soup served in Finnish-American households in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Western Ontario. The principal ingredients are beef or fish and potatoes. When Finnish immigrants of a century ago made their way to the area around Lake Superior, the name followed them, but it came to mean any soup made of leftovers. ”

We made this Salmon Finnish Fish Stew.  Beth shared stories of her dad making this fish stew on the campfire while they were camping. Using what-ever fish they had caught that day and some basic ingredients you just boil all the ingredients over the camp fire.  We ate some stew after we photographed it, it is quite good and I can see it would be a great dinner at the camp site.  Now, I just need to learn how to fish.


– 200g-400g of filited Salmon or other fish

– 600g potatoes, peeled and chopped into cm cubes

– 1 Onion, chopped into 8

– 200ml Cream

– Dill, a good couple of tablespoons per person, chopped finely

  1. Cover the Onion and Potato with Water in a pan, add about 10 whole Peppercorns and Salt. Boil for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the Cream and half of the Dill you chopped, then the fish fillets whole.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes, stir in a knob of Butter, check the Salt level and add more if needed then serve with the rest of the Dill sprinkled on top.
  4. This recipe is from–

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