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Finnish Blazing Salmon: Loimulohta

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Adjust Servings:
whole side Salmon
2 Lemon
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Pepper

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Finnish Blazing Salmon: Loimulohta


    Blazing salmon is a traditional Finnish method of cooking fish

    • 2.5 hours
    • Serves 8
    • Medium




    Loimulohta, sometimes called Blazing salmon, is a Finnish method of preparing salmon on the campfire. This Finnish smoked salmon is a tasty way of feeding a large group of people with minimal effort. But there is a little preparation at the beginning.

    I’m not an expert, I’ve done a lot of reading online to produce this recipe, relying heavily on a recipe from a Suomi Holiday Blog (‘Suomi’ being the Finnish word for ‘Finnish’). Feel free to comment offering advice

    The Board

    The first thing you need to do is prepare your board. You can buy these but making your own is easy. If you would like to try this, check out my post on preparing your own board for smoking fish.

    The Fire

    You want your Loimulohta somewhere between 20cm and 30cm from the flames and remember you can turn the board upside down and even lay it horizontally for a while if you need. Be sure that whatever you’ve propped it up against is secure! No one wants ashy salmon.

    It takes a good while to make blazing salmon, around about an hour and a half, so make sure you have a good supply of fire wood on stand by. You don’t want to be cutting and chopping wood in the middle.

    Cooking the Loimulohta

    Place your planks downwind, they’ll get most of the smoke that way. If you’re preparing multiple planks, leave gaps between them. This way the smoke will still pass in and around the salmon and not over the top. Spray bottle of water on stand by to spritz the plank if it catches fire.

    The fish should become flakey when it’s ready and the skin will peel away easily. Serve the salmon sliced on the board.

    The Board

    Wash the Loimulohta board with a soap and water (like you would anything) and you can use your planks again and again until they’re starting to burn through. Then they make excellent fire wood!

    Alternatives to Blazing Salmon

    Let’s face it, it isn’t often you’re asked to feed a crowd of 22 scout leaders. You might want to cook this for a few less people. You might even have some people who don’t like fish. This method for smoking fish will work perfectly well for smaller fillets such as trout. On camp this past weekend, I also smoked bacon on its own board for the non-fish eaters. Obviously, if you’re using smaller pieces of meat, cook these for less time.


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    Once the boards are thoroughly soaked, season the board with salt and pepper. Using the wee stakes you made, pin the side of salmon, skin side down, to the board. You might need to use a knife to get through the skin.


    Cover the salmon in the juice of half the lemon and season the top with more salt and pepper.


    Prop the salmon up near the fire. You want the fish to be around 20-30cm from the flames. And that is more or less it. Turn the board every now and again to try to ensure even cooking. It will take around 1.5 - 2 hours depending on the thickness. And don't worry if it's a little under done, you're using fresh fish and it's smoked through now.


    Serve straight from the board. Season again to taste and squeeze over the rest of the lemon juice. I served it with Dutch oven potatoes and a delicious herb and lemon creme fraiche.

    Do try this recipe, it looks daunting but it is quite simple.

    Mark T

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