Fish Week in Estonia focuses on Ukrainians and those supporting them

Attention continues to be turned in Estonia to the promotion of local food, and as ever, September was Estonian Food Month. 

The Fisheries Information Centre at the University of Tartu has taken on the mission of promoting Estonian fish and fish-based food among a range of target groups. To date, they have done this in schools, hospitals, military bases and more in cooperation with head chefs from leading restaurants.

This year there was never a question of who the target group would be: Ukrainians have been arriving in Estonia in their thousands in recent months, and we wanted to give them a chance to sample the delights of our fish products. 

Over four days, representatives of the Estonian Association of Chefs prepared special fish lunches in towns and cities around the country. They included Taigo Lepik, head chef to the Estonian president, and Ylicool restaurant head chef Urpo Reinthal, who set out their stall at Tallinn’s newly opened school for Ukrainian children and made almost 800 patties out of Baltic herring – Estonia’s national fish – along with side dishes. The children made short work of the meal and gave it a resounding thumbs-up, while Ukrainian physics teacher Yevheniia Liakhkhovski said the patties reminded her very strongly of those her grandmother in Odessa used to make from Black Sea sprats.  

Left to right: Head chef to the Estonian president Taigo Lepik, Ukrainian physics teacher Yevheniia Liakhkhovski and Ylicool restaurant head chef Urpo Reinthal.

We hope all the Ukrainian students and teachers were inspired to make Baltic herring patties a go-to dish in their daily meals!

Baltic herring patties

1 kg of Baltic herring fillets
3 eggs
50 g of cream cheese
50 g of white onion
5 cloves of garlic
50 g of oat bran
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Mince the Baltic herring fillets and onion. Mix in all of the remaining ingredients individually and season with the salt and pepper. Use your hands to make the patties, then fry them in a pan until golden brown. Bon appétit!