How to make Sautéed Reindeer or Poronkäristys

How to make Sautéed Reindeer or Poronkäristys

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Have you ever tasted sautéed reindeer or poronkäristys in the local language? It is one of the Finnish traditional delicacies originating from the northern part or Lapland.

One of the Finnish traditional food I like and once in a while I cook is the sautéed reindeer or poronkäristys. It is actually very easy, you can cook it in the pan all the way or put in the oven. I have seen some put beer but I usually do not.

When we were travelling to Lapland, reindeers are everywhere! When I said everywhere, I mean that they are to be seen freely everywhere. It is easy to know that we entered the Lapland region when the road traffic warning signs show to slowdown for reindeers.

It is a very important warning sign because we have encountered many reindeers, they just cross the street, stay in the middle of the road or turn back after crossing.

They are mostly anyway owned and not wild even though they are freely moving.

I cooked this in Lapland during our vacation there and also during this Independence Day Celebration this year. I think it is just good to have this on the menu.

You may want to check this other traditional Finnish food:

The reindeer meat I use is frozen as it is the most common I can get. I also like the combination of the cabbage to the meat.


  • 500g reindeer meat or poronkäristys
  • 50g butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 carrot julienne sliced
  • 3 dl water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • cabbage


  • Place the reindeer meat to room temperature at least half an hour before cooking.
  • Wash and peel the onion and garlic
  • Sliced the garlic and the onion as desired
  • Peel the carrots after washing and julienne sliced
  • Wash and slice the cabbage
  • In a cooking pan, place the butter until melted
  • Add the garlic and the onion until color brown
  • Saute the reindeer, small portion at a time
  • When the meat is already brown and the liquid on the pan is almost dry, add the soy sauce.
  • Add the water, let it boil
  • Combine the carrots and the cabbage.
  • Add salt and black pepper based on your desired taste
  • Let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • If you decide to cook it through into the pan, you can let it simmer for another half an hour or continue by transferring it to casserole pan and place to preheated oven into 175 C and keep it there 30 min to 1.5 hours depending on how soft you want the meat.
  • I keep it for an 45 minutes in the oven and mixed few times.
  • When cook, add some parsley and serve with lingonberry jam and mashed potato.
  • Enjoy!

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