8 Russian Dishes You Should Know How to Order (or Make)
As the largest country in the world, Russia has a vast array of variety in its cuisine. However, I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of food that may be. To help answer that question for myself (and hopefully for you too), I reached out to the mother of a dear friend of mine whose cooking I remember from my childhood as very, very Russian. Besides tons of dill and potatoes, which apparently appear in every Russian household, she offered me this list of Russian dishes that are quintessential to the culture.
Oladushky (Honey Yeast Blini): For Russians, blini (pronounced "bleen") is the symbol for the sun and its ability to warm the Earth and give life. Sticking with that theme, these tasty treats are Russian pancakes that are dressed with honey or jam and sure to warm you up on a chilly day. (via Cooking Melangery)
Shuba (Layered Herring Salad): Shuba, which translates to "herring under fur," can be an acquired taste, but once you’re used to the flavor of herring, this beautifully colored salad is a treat at the table. This uniquely named Russian dish is made with cooked beets, carrots, potatoes, and boiled eggs dressed with mayonnaise. Just make sure to use herring that's not pickled in cream. (via Tatyana’s Everyday Food)
Russian Okroshka (Cold Summer Soup): This soup is comfort food for hot days. (Yes, that's a thing that exists.) Cold, tart, and crunchy, it's loaded with fresh vegetables that make it refreshing and good for you too. Because the base is made from sour cream and egg, it's also extra filling, which can be welcome on those days when you’re hungry but have absolutely no desire to turn on the oven. (via Sweet & Savory Meals)
Russian Red Borscht: Although borscht is known for featuring beets, it's actually a vibrant soup filled with a variety of vegetables and sometimes meat. Every family makes their borscht slightly differently, but most are served with a traditional dollop of sour cream on top. You can also choose to serve this soup hot or cold. (via Mom Dish)
Olivie (Russian Salad): Think of this as potato salad with extra vegetables thrown in. The best part of this easy chopped salad is that it uses ingredients that are pantry staples. Originally, the dish incorporated cooked, wild meat, but now most people use bologna or some other type of sausage meat. (via Olga’s Flavor Factory)
Kulebyaka (Russian Pie): This complex pie is often made with several layers that can include a few types of ground meat or fish, eggs, rice, cabbage, and mushrooms, before it's encased in a pastry dough and elaborately decorated. It's a great choice for indecisive eaters because each slice contains all the layers for a very flavorful — and very varied — meal. (via Cooking Melangery)
Solyanka (Rustic Smoked and Sour Soup): Perfect for using up leftovers, this soup combines any smoked and non-smoked meats that you may have on hand. In fact, because there are no set rules for what exact cuts of meat can go into this soup, any soup that combines a large variety of ingredients has become known as solyanka. Generally, what gives this soup its ultra smokey flavor are the hard rock variety of smoked meats like ham, salami, sausage, and bacon. Then the addition of pickles, olives, and lemon juice bring a mild tartness to the mix. (via Gastro Senses)
Meat Blini With Cheese and Dill: These juicy pockets of meaty goodness are simply crepes that are filled with meat, cheese, and dill. They're then pan-fried with a dollop of butter and served warm. Eat them with your hands or a fork. Either way, you’ll quickly understand that this succulent snack is a favorite in Russian cuisine for a reason. (via Tatyana’s Everyday Food)
Do you have any experience cooking Russian food? Send us some of your favorite recipes @BritandCo.