Rutabaga Kukko ‒ Lanttukukko

Kukkos are a Savoyard and Karelian speciality available with any imaginable filling. The most famous ones I believe are kalakukko (filled with fish), lanttukukko (rutabaga) and mustikkakukko or rättänä (bilberries). If you look the dictionary, you'll find that kukko means cock in the official language. This however isn't official language. The name of the dish refers most likely to kukkaro (wallet), cause the rye cover hides (kätkeä) something.

For my very first lanttukukko I looked help mostly from a kalakukko recipe and another lanttukukko recipe that has a lot of helpful photos about the different stages.

The cover:
- 5 dl water
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 100 g margarine
- 9 dl rye flour
- 3 dl white flour, for example wheat or spelt

The filling:
- 1 kg rutabaga (actually I used turnip which I find tastier)
- salt
- sugar
- tar liqueur (I'm quite certain beer would work as well)
- margarine
- barley grains (about 2 dl)

Peel and slice the rutabagas. Put the slices into a pot and shake with sugar and salt so the slices start to “sweat”. Mix the cover ingredients and spread it on the table to a circle so that it's diameter is about one metre. The edges should be about one centimetre thick, the centre may be thicker. Spread a thin layer of barley grains in the centre and on it a layer of rutabaga. Also sprinkle salt, tar liqueur, barley grains and margarine on them. Then add the next rutabaga layer and keep going until you've finished all your slices. Top with salt, tar liqueur and margarine. Now you can seal the kukko. Even the cover with wet hands so there are no holes or lumps.

Put it in the 250°C oven for half an hour so the cover hardens up and gets some colour. Lower the heat to 125°C. Wrap the kukko in moist parchment paper and after that into folio. Cook four hours more. When you take the kukko out cover it with towels so the cover won't get hard.

There are different schools in how to eat this thing. Some say you should cut the top open and start eating from the insides. I like to slice it like bread. Either way you'll notice it's a very versatile dish.

Nutritional values / 2700 g
energy 3076 kcal
fat 98 g
protein 116 g
carbohydrates 669 g
fiber 141 g


  1. Hello,
    This may sound like a odd question as you are a vegan but I hope you or a friend can help.
    I am from the UK & was a vegetarian of 8 years but have recently decided to eat fish/seafood again purely for health reasons, but I don't want to just eat the something every week so I am looking online for 365 different meals from around the world hence this odd question ( 157-209 Vegetable, 52-104Tofu & 104 seafood)

    I would like to make a kalakukko but have a couple questions about it.
    I have found a couple of recipes but as I am now a 'Pescatarian' (those who abstain from eating all meat and animal flesh with the exception of fish) It is hard to find one that is meat-free apart from your "Rutabaga Kukko ‒ Lanttukukko" recipe.
    Q.1 - Most say to use Vendace or Perch, but is it possible to use a different fish , say Salmon/Mackerel/Bass etc.?
    Q.2 - What else could I use instead of the Bacon/Pork to flesh it out, can I use Greens like spinach as well as roots?
    Q.3 - Would the cooking times be the same?

    Any help would be apreached

    1. I'm not a vegan but can't say I'd know anything about cooking fish either. I do know that the idea of kalakukko is precicely in mixing fish and pork. However, I think it's just great if someone bothers to come up with new filling options that fit their personal taste, and partly I even feel that used to be the whole principle before we started to carve them in stone as "traditionals". If you happen to love spinach then it's ok to try it out (and report to others if the new combination happens to work especially well).

    2. i realise this answer comes extremely late - but yes you can use other fish - salmon is commonly used if the other small white fish species cannot be found, and it would work with mackerel and other such fish which are a little oily and do not turn to mush when cooked for a long time, e.g. trout.

      pork meat is added for flavour and for fat (to stop the kukko from drying out) so if you are not using that I would recommend using butter, and yeah maybe some sort of greens like spinach (would wilt and drain first though to stop too much "watery-ness"!) - and mushrooms could work in the same manner - or you could do just fish and just make sure to add butter in the filling and use mainly oily types of fish like the ones i listed above.

      cooking times would be about the same - with any type of kukko, the longer you keep it in the oven at the low temperature, the better! but it would definitely be ready to eat after 4 hours at 125 centegrade.


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