How to make Salmonberry Uqinaq

Salmonberry Uqinaq is a simple and tasty traditional Eskimo dessert made with seal oil and salmonberries. Today, we add sugar for sweetness. If you like seal oil then there is a good chance that you will also like uqinaq! Other names for it are uqumlek and atsaluk, depending on where you are from. To make this tasty dessert you will need:

1 quart of salmonberries

¼ cup of seal oil

¼ cup of sugar

¼ cup of crowberries (optional)

Extra sugar, just in case you want more

A glass or metal bowl for mixing

To begin, thaw out your frozen salmonberries or use fresh ones. Put the thawed berries in the mixing bowl and add the sugar. Mix the sugar in with your hand. You can crush the berries if you like. Some like to, but others don’t. Next add in the seal oil and stir and mix with your hand to combine. At this point, give the uqinaq a taste and see if you would like to add more sugar and do so if you like. When the sugar level tastes okay, add in your blackberries (crowberries). They make your uqinaq look beautiful and give it decorative appeal.

Eat your uqinaq with your dry fish or after soup for dessert. It is so mouthwatering good! It does not require shortening. Some also make it with shaved reindeer tallow, so extra tasty.

Did you know that Iditarod Musher Libby Riddles ate uqinaq on the Iditarod Trail? Ingredients include berries, sugar, and seal oil – just like uqinaq.

Here is what she wrote in her book “Race Across Alaska”:

“…hunger struck,” writes Libby. “I sat up and scavenged around in my sled for some goodies. I found my container of kamamik but had to continue rummaging in the sled until I found my plastic spoon. The kamamik really hit the spot; it’s power food.” She eats some during the 90 miles between Ophir and Iditarod.

Thank you Libby, it sounds so good.