Do you have a favourite Russian dish? If you do, we’d love to hear from you – and you could win yourself a meal out at a Russian restaurant in London.
Our favourite winter soup has to be solyanka. It has a unique sour and smoked meaty flavour – though fish and vegetable varieties can also be found. Its distinctive salty taste comes from the barrel salted cucumbers that are an essential ingredient; some people even add extra pickle brine to the mix too. If you’re cooking a traditional meaty solyanka, at least three different types of meat should be added to the beef broth which acts as a base. These could be ham, boiled sausage, chicken or bacon. Whatever meat is used, we think it’s delicious!
But do you agree? Perhaps your vote would go to another hearty soup such as shchi? This cabbage soup has featured on Russian menus for a thousand years, it’s taste derived from it being left to stew on the stove for the flavours to develop. Soups play a key role in Russian cuisine, whether chilled like tyurya, okroshka and botvinya or hot soups like rassolnik and the famous beet and cabbage borscht.
Or maybe you’re a pirozkhi fan? These little stuffed buns are made from either yeast dough or short pastry and are crammed full of anything from sautéed cabbage to fish or boiled meat with onions. They can be baked or shallow fried and are the perfect street food snack to keep your energy up when you’re sightseeing. Another popular snack is of course the blini: a thin pancake topped with butter, smetana (sour cream), fruit preserves or caviar.
Fish plays a key role in Russian cuisine, especially smoked, salted or marinated. Whether your choice is a traditional smoked salmon or omul, or maybe “herring under a fur coat” which begs to be ordered solely on account of its crazy moniker, there are many tasty dishes to choose from. You might have a familiar favourite such as trout or something a little more typically Russian – like the sterlet, or Tsar fish.
So send us a photo of your favourite Russian dish, along with the recipe, and if it’s your entry that gets our mouth watering, then that promised meal out is all yours.