Lihapiirakka: A deep-fried pastry filled with rice and meat, similar to Russian Piroshki


In Finland, there is a dish called Lihapiirakka, which is similar to the Russian-originated snack Piroshki. Finnish cuisine often includes dishes influenced by neighboring countries like Russia and Sweden, and Lihapiirakka is one of them. In this article, I will introduce the characteristics of Lihapiirakka and its differences from the original Piroshki.

What kind of dish is Lihapiirakka?

Lihapiirakka is a Finnish dish consisting of a deep-fried savory pastry made with wheat flour dough and filled with various ingredients. This dish is an adaptation of the Russian-originated Piroshki with a Finnish twist. Finland was under Russian occupation for about 100 years until its independence in 1917. As a result, Finland and Russia share a close geographical and historical relationship.

Finnish cuisine is also influenced by Russian food culture, and Lihapiirakka, the Finnish version of Piroshki, is no exception. 

The term “Lihapiirakka” combines the Finnish words for “meat,” “liha,” and “pie,” “piirakka.” As the name suggests, the filling mainly consists of ground meat, onions, and spices like pepper, which is similar to the original Piroshki. 

However, Lihapiirakka is characterized by the use of rice as an ingredient. Rice can be white rice, brown rice, or even barley. Adding rice increases the satisfaction of the dish and helps absorb excess oil and meat juices, preventing the dough from becoming soggy and watery.

Piroshki is a Russian-originated deep-fried stuffed pastry

In Japan, Piroshki is a dish that may only be seen in Russian specialty restaurants, and some people might not be familiar with it. Piroshki is a Russian-originated stuffed deep-fried bread made with strong flour and dry yeast, filled with ground meat and other ingredients, and deep-fried until crispy. In Russia and Eastern European countries, it is a traditional home-cooked dish, often eaten as a fast-food snack due to its convenience.

Piroshki has spread from Russia to various parts of the world, and the ingredients and cooking methods differ depending on the country and region, with some being deep-fried and others baked. Baked Piroshki results in a crispy and fragrant finish when cooked in an oven. 

In Japan, deep-fried bread stuffed with ingredients may remind people of curry bread. In fact, Japanese curry bread was originally created as a dish inspired by Russian Piroshki.

How to eat Lihapiirakka

Lihapiirakka is a popular snack in Finland. It is common to break Lihapiirakka in half and eat it with ketchup or mustard in Finland. Since Lihapiirakka has a mild flavor, you can season it according to your taste. 

On the other hand, Lihapiirakka, with its ground meat and rice wrapped in dough and deep-fried, is a high-calorie dish. This is because it originated in cold regions like Russia and Finland, where it was designed to provide energy efficiently. In Finland, Lihapiirakka is considered a fast-food-like dish, so it is essential to be mindful of the calories.


In Finland, the Russian dish Piroshki is known as Lihapiirakka and is considered a convenient snack-like food. Lihapiirakka, made by wrapping minced meat or rice in dough similar to dumplings and then frying it, is a satisfying and filling dish.