Fish and seafood make the basis of Kamchatka cuisine. It has absorbed the traditions of indigenous nomadic peoples and their ability to quickly and deliciously cook food from those fresh products that are always at hand. You can taste national dishes of the Itelmen, Koryak and Chukchi peoples on tours to ethnic villages and hostels, as well as on national holidays in Kamchatka.
However, it should be noted that lots of dishes, spread in Kamchatka, have become truly "international".
1. Kamchatka Fish Cutlets - Telno
To be objective, telno is a half-Kamchatka and half-Cossack dish. It came to be cooked in Kamchatka after the arrival of the Cossacks there. These large cutlets from red fish with mashed potatoes inside can be found on any holiday or celebration in Kamchatka. Freshly caught fish (sockeye salmon, chinook salmon, chum salmon, salmon or salmon) is always used for fish mince. It is mixed with onion, garlic and a small amount of spices. This delicious and nutritious does not really need any special garnish, since here is the potato, already inside.
2. Kamchatka Fish Soup
Kamchatka is a great place for fishing. Kamchatka fish soup means a lot of freshly caught salmon fish, and necessarily pure water. Coho salmon, sockeye salmon, and chinook salmon make the most typical fish combination for this traditional dish. To cook the authentic triple fish soup, the most delicious fish parts, head and belly, as well as sliced potatoes are cooked in the fish broth resultant after double boiling. As for the first portions of boiled fish, they are served separately, sprinkled with greens. It is best to taste such a traditional salmon soup on a hiking tour in Kamchatka, when sitting next a campfire in the wild and contemplating gigantic volcanoes. By the way, while the fish is boiling, you can cook a splendid fish-baked-in-foil in the same fire. Just do not forget to pre-salt and spice it generously.
3. Kamchatka Caviar
When on Kamchatka tour, you easily get rid of the common false belief that caviar must be red only. Here you will find many different kinds and colours of caviar, or rather, caviar from different types of salmon fish. The caviar of small pink salmon and medium sized chinook salmon is of delicate carrot color. Large chum’s caviar has the colour of bright red carrot. The caviar of small sockeye salmon and medium sized coho salmon is of a purplish red color.
4. Kamchatka Fish-and-Berry Salad
The local dwellers believe that this hearty traditional dish keeps you healthy and young. It is a common treat among different ethnic groups of Kamchatka. The Koryaks and Chukchi call it "kylykil", and Itelmens name it "silk-sil". Among the Russians and the Aleuts this peculiar salad is known as "tolkusha".
Freshly caught salmon is used for this national Kamchatka dish. The fish is boiled, cooled down and the bones are removed from it. Fresh cloudberries or cranberries are pre-pound into a finer mass. The salad of chopped boiled salmon and berries is seasoned with melted seal fat.
5. Kamchatka Sun-Dried Fish - Yukola
The special flavor and appetizing look of sun-dried fish will not let anyone indifferently pass by the fish market. Yukola is made from valuable salmonids. The fish is sun-dried without bones and always in the fresh air. Stepan Petrovich Krasheninnikov, who researched the Kamchatka Peninsula in the 18th century, wrote that Yukola was the staple food for the indigenous peoples, comparable to rye bread for the Russians.
Author: Vera Ivanova