Raw salted whitefish, halloumi and mushroom salad

Raw salted whitefish and mushroom salad: such a lovely combination, such a good reason to eat a little too much!

There appears to be no exact equivalent in English for the  Finnish word “graavi”, which we use here. It means something like “raw fish seasoned overnight with salt and spices”.

Whitefish fillets are thin and the texture is very soft. Removing  the bones could damage the whole fish, so I prefer to leave them just like they are, the bones are easy enough to remove afterwards anyway.  

Since whitefish is quite thin and with a very soft texture it doesn’t need to be seasoned as long as for example salmon, and it can easily happen that you accidentally over do it making it too salty. My approach has been to season the fish as the last thing I do before going to bed, and then cleaning off the extra salt and spices first thing in the morning. Although you can also season the fish in the morning and have it ready for dinner.

The meal served in the picture contains raw salted whitefish, mushroom salad, halloumi and basil pesto. The combination is so full of flavors that it goes well with just basic cooked potatoes.

You can buy your pesto or you can make it yourself. In this meal it isn’t the centre of attention so you can even leave it out if you prefer.

The recipe for mushroom salad can be found here.
The recipe for basil pesto can be found here.

PORTION: 4 servings
TIME TO MAKE: preparing about 10 minutes, seasoning about 8-10 hours


  • 1 very big or two smaller whitefish fillets (total weight about 400 gr)
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of rose pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • fresh dill
  • lemon juice

Dry the fillet/fillets. Ground the peppers in a mortar. Add sea salt and ground it as well. Spread the mixture onto the fillets. Add some finely cut fresh dill and just a little lemon juice.

Wrap tightly in parchment paper and place on a plate. Keep it in the fridge for at least eight hours and after that clean off all extra salt and spices.

Cut in very thin slices and serve with potatoes, mushroom salad and halloumi.


Cut halloumi in slices (2-3 pieces /diner). Don’t make the slices too thin, because if you do they can dry up and become a bit hard to eat.

Bake in butter in a frying pan on both sides until they have a nice brownish color. Some people say that you should not use oil or butter when baking halloumi and all you need is a non-stick frying pan, but I have always used some butter which gives the cheese some extra taste. Feel free to try out the different approaches.

Tags: halloumi wild mushroom salad raw salted whitefish salted fish

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