Polish Salmon Spread {Pasta Rybna Łososiowa}


In support of our sandwich addiction, we’re coming up with many ways to continue on the love quest without getting bored with the same old ham sandwich. I’m not even that big of a fan of store-bought ham here in the US. It’s just not that flavorful. Don’t get me wrong, an occasional super-fancy-organic-no-nitrates-all-natural-100%-super ham does make it onto our table, or in despair, we smoke our own once in a while, and enjoy the true flavor of what smoked ham should taste like. Unfortunately,  there is just not enough hours in a day to do that all the time.

Today, I’m whipping up a quick sandwich spread, that can also be enjoyed with crackers as a dip. It takes all of 15 min to make, and if you have some cooked fish leftover from a cookout, time is cut in half. If you know anything about me, you’ll know I love leftovers. I look at leftovers as ingredients, ready to be transformed into another dish, which I know our grandmothers and great grandmothers did all the time. Food was just too expensive and too hard to come by to trivialize its importance and not re-utilize every little bit of it. As a matter of fact, a lot of traditional Polish cooking is based on leftovers. Prime example, everyone’s favorite: meat pierogi. Leftover meat from cooking soup or roast is used as filling; kopytka (potato dumplings), leftover potatoes used to make a dumpling; sałatka jarzynowa (traditional Polish vegetable salad) and galaretka (chicken in gelatine) both made using ingredients left over from cooking real chicken soup. That’s just the tip of an iceberg.

Back to fish… Salmon was not a super popular fish in Poland when I was growing up, in the 80s and 90s, but it was quite accessible if you had a chance to visit any of the Scandinavian countries. Living close to the Baltic Sea, other fish was available and plenty, so we did cook perch, mackerel, herring, sprat, cod all the time, and made spreads or dips, fried them or made into soups. Now, you can buy any type of seafood you dream of, local or not, and Poles continue to consume large amounts of seafood each year. Store bought fish spreads are normally made with, aside from other “fillers”, mayo. I like a bit more substantial and updated version, and I’m using cream cheese. I like the mild and creamy texture of it, and how it carries the other ingredients in a spread form. In combination with the other components of this recipe, it creates a smooth and soft paste, slightly fishy with a definite garlic and dill tinge. Delicious.

Polish salmon spread, easy fish dip, great party food.

Polish Salmon Spread {Pasta Rybna Łososiowa}

  • Yields: About 1 cup
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 0 min


  • 7 oz piece of salmon
  • 1 tsp of butter
  • 4 oz of cream cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbs of ketchup
  • 1 tsp of minced onion
  • 1 tsp of fresh dill


  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the raw fish and saute in butter until cooked through (about 7-10 min). Okay to use fish that's already cooked or grilled - love leftovers! Remove cooked fish off the pan and let cool.

  2. Once fish is cold, place in a food processor with ketchup, cream cheese and garlic (or use a hand blender) and blend into a smooth paste.

  3. Once blended, add finely minced onion and dill. Mix with a spoon or a spatula (but don't blend).

  4. Taste. It will most likely need more salt, but this will depend on the saltiness of the fish. Add more salt, if needed and a pinch of pepper. Mix well and refrigerate until serving.


Serve chilled.

For all the fish lovers, party goes and dip and sandwich eaters! This one is for you!

Hope you love this one.. smacznego!



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  1. Oh my – this is amazing! Perfect for crackers or on bagels for breakfast. I used neufchatel instead of cream cheese because it has a lower fat content, and it still came together like a rich cloud of yum.

  2. My hand blender made this a super fast recipe to make with a chunk of leftover salmon. I topped with a couple of capers per cracker for a tiny bit of briny kick. Very tasty and light supper on a hot summer day.

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