By Sari Huhtala
While conventional barbecuing offers up a quick and easy way to grill salmon, for those who wish to experiment with outdoor cookery, a Finnish Loimulohi – blazed salmon cooked over an open fire – serves up a simple and healthful way to bake salmon outdoors.
While in Finland years ago, I discovered the popularity of blazed salmon over an open fire. If there is one common thread among the natives of Finland, it is their natural affinity to the outdoors. Be as close to nature as possible is a philosophy many Finns live by. This would explain why many backyards are equipped with homemade outdoor stoves or cooking huts, offering up the opportunity to take the kitchen into the backyard as often as possible.
Those venturing out to markets in larger cities would find areas where massive open pit fires house a loimulohi set up where salmon is cooking throughout the day for purchase by visitors to the market. Making your own Loimulohi set up would be relatively simple, and can be easily done in a backyard because one does not require a huge, roaring open fire pit to blaze salmon.
Make your own blazed salmon set up
1) Use natural, untreated wood to create boards on which you will place the salmon, as illustrated in the photo.
2) Drill ¼-inch holes into the board – much like a peg board – and use small dowels to insert through the salmon, and fit into the holes for cooking.
3) Use a clean wire meshing to hold the salmon in place while it is cooking.
4) Ensure a small fire is kept burning throughout the cooking period.
Happy outdoor cooking!