Mojakka (MOY-a-kah)
Saint Urho
Patron Saint
of Finland

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2nd Annual Mojakka Cook-Off in Menahga, MN

Go to Menahga.comThe popular Saint Urho's Day Mojakka Cook-OffTM tradition has been picked up in Menahga, MN. The 2013 Mojakka Cook-Off will be Sunday, March 17th, from 12 Noon to 2 pm at the Senior Center. Registration for the Mojakka Cook-Off as well as details of all the St. Urho weekend's festivities can be found at

For more Saint Urho Celebrations, visit .

Stories and photos of past Mojakka Cook-Offs

Note: The phrase "Saint Urho's Day Mojakka Cook-Off" is a trademark of the Wink Timber Media Agency.

M-m-m-m! Mojakka! Mojakka (pronounced MOY-a-kah) is a soup served in Finnish-American households in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Western Ontario. The principal ingredients are beef or fish and potatoes. Made with fish it is called kalamojakka (KAH-la-moy-a-kah), with beef it is lihamojakka (LEE-ha-moy-a-kah).

Mojakka is not a term known to modern day residents of Finland. A couple of sources indicate it originated in the Bothnia region. Ivy Nevala wrote, "When Helena Rautala, a linguist, checked the word in the archives at Turku University [in 1990], she found that the word had been used in northern Bothnia, for instance in Kalajoki, which is on the coast, south of Raahe. It has two meanings, 'good tasting' and a 'fish soup usually made of potatoes and Baltic herring.' ... The word isn't in common use in Finland today." (The word for soup in modern Finnish is keitto, so what Finnish-Americans call kalamojakka is known in Finland as kalakeitto.)

When Finnish immigrants of a century ago made their way to the area around Lake Superior, the name followed them, but it came to mean any soup made of leftovers. Conseqently there are many varieties of mojakka -- fish, beef, pork, venison -- and the broth may be watery or it may be more like stew. With fish it is usually milk-based. Many North American Finns remember it being served in the late winter, when supplies of potatoes and other root vegetables were beginning to run low and cooks needed to ration what remained.

There are several ways to spell it as well, including "moiakka", "moijakka", and "moyakka", but "mojakka" is the most popular.

TatersWhy a web site dedicated to Mojakka? Why not? Everything else is on the Internet. Truthfully, we think mojakka should be considered seriously as a regional dish, much as Wild Rice is to Minnesota, Lobster Rolls are to Maine, Boiled Peanuts are to Georgia, or Pastys are to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is certainly tastier than lutefisk, the traditional Norwegian-American dish that many consider inedible (though some Finns have been known to consume lutefisk).

There are very few references to this delicacy on the Internet. Most of them have to do with Mojakka Suppers on St. Urho's Day, or other references to that legendary Finnish hero. According to the famous Ode to St. Urho, in order to maintain his Sampson-like physique, the brave Finn "ate culla mojakka effery hour".

Bowl of mojakka. Photo used with permission of CyberShingle® Web Services.
Photo used with permission of CyberShingle® Web Services.

Contribute your Mojakka Recipe

We are seeking Mojakka recipes for this site and to create a Mojakka Cook Book. Other Finnish recipes are welcome also.

  • Submit your recipe here.


    There are many restaurants in the Lake Superior region that serve mojakka and other Finnish dishes. Please let us know about them as well.

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    Mojakka Memories

    Do you have story that involves mojakka? Remembering Mama or Grandma making mojakka or a special occasion when it was served? (You may wish to write out your story in a text editor such as Notepad, then copy it to email or send as an attachment. ASCII text files are preferred as attachments [e.g., story.txt].)
  • Submit Mojakka stories

    Saint Urho's Day Mojakka Cook-Off

    2008 Mojakka Cook-Off Results
    2007 Mojakka Cook-Off Results
    2006 Mojakka Cook-Off Results
    2005 Mojakka Cook-Off Results
    2004 Mojakka Cook-Off Results
    2003 Mojakka Cook-Off Results

    Photos from 2004 Laskiainen in Palo, MN

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