First, some words about Ukrainian Cuisine that make you taste the culture in the direct meaning!
The cuisine of Ukraine has a rich history and offers a wide variety of dishes. Ukrainian recipes are also influenced by its neighbours like Russia, Germany, Turkey, Poland, Lithuania and the so called Soviet cuisine (dishes of mixed origin popular in the USSR). Ukrainian food is intended to be filling and should be served in large quantities.
Simple soups, very easy to cook meals were the main parts of the Ukrainian diet. Ukrainians use black pepper, red pepper, salt, bay leaf, parsley and dill, garlic and onion. Staples include potatoes, cabbage, fish, pork, beef and sausage. The core of the Ukrainian cuisine originates in the peasant dishes based on grains and staple vegetables like potatoes, cabbage, beets and mushrooms. Meat is an important ingredient in most Ukrainian dishes, and it is prepared in different ways.
Bread was and still is one of the food elements that are never absent from a Ukrainian meal. Bread is used with soup and the main course, although sometimes it may be left aside if the dish contains potatoes or pasta. Bakery was also present since immemorial times and all grain based food products used in the past are still present today, in one form or another.
– Borsch, an aromatic and appetizing beet-based soup, is the most popular and widely known Ukrainian dish. Besides meat, a typical Ukrainian borsch contains at least 20 other ingredients. Different versions of borsch are prepared in different regions of Ukraine. The recipe of the cold Borsch find below.
– Varenyky are boiled dumplings. They are usually made of unleavened dough and stuffed with sauerkraut, cheese, mashed potatoes, cabbage, meat, hard-boiled eggs or a combination of these. The recipe of the Varenyky find below.
– Fish friedin egg and flour; baked in the oven with mushrooms, cheese and lemon; marinaded, dried or smoked.
– Solyanka is a thick, spicy and sour soup in the Ukrainian cuisine. There are mainly three different kinds of solyanka, with the main ingredient being either meat, fish or mushrooms. All of them contain cucumber pickles with brine, and often cabbage, salty mushrooms, cream and dill. The recipe of the Solyanka find below.
– Stuffed zucchini or eggplant oven-roasted, stuffed with tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms and/or rice. The recipe of the stuffed zuccini find below.
– Buckwheat cereal with chopped, fried mushrooms and/or onion.
– Golubtsy (cabbage rolls)– a cabbage head is boiled just enough to separate leaves from it. Boiled rice is mixed with grated carrots, chopped tomatoes and minced meat. This mixture is then stuffed in each cabbage leaf making cabbage rolls. Some broth mixed with tomato sauce or ketchup is poured into a baking pan into which the golubtsy are placed and baked. The recipe of the Golubtsy find below.
- Cabbage rolls
– Deruny are potato pancakes (shallow-fried) of grated potato and egg often flavored with grated onion. The recipe of the Deruny find below.
– Syrniki are fried curd fritters, garnished with sour cream, jam, honey, and/or apple sauce. Syrniki are made from the full-fat, creamy cottage cheese, crumbled and mixed with flour, egg, milk, and sugar and fried, generally in a flavorful unrefined sunflower oil. The outsides become very crispy, and the center is warm and creamy. The recipe of the Syrniki find below.
– Kutya is a sweet grain pudding, traditionally served in Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian cultures. Kutia is often the first dish in the traditional 12-dishes Christmas Eve Supper. It is rarely served at other times of the year. Traditionally it was made of wheat, poppy seeds, honey (or sugar), various nuts and sometimes raisins. In many recipes milk or cream was also used. The recipe of the Kutya find here.
Among alcoholic beverages used are strong spirits (horilka, vodka in Russian; Samohon (moonshine) is also popular, including with infusions of fruit, spices or hot peppers. Wine come from Europe and Ukraine (particularly from Crimea). Regaining popularity is mead (mid or medovukha) which is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from honey, water and yeast. The taste is similar to cider but the flavor depends on the plants frequented by honeybees.
Non-alcoholic beverages are Kompot which is a sweet beverage made of dried or fresh fruit and or berries boiled in water. And also a drink – Uzvar. It is a kind of fruit compote, but it is really much richer and more concentrated than fruit compote. It is delicious mixture of raisins, prunes and spices- cinnamon, cloves, and dried citrus peel. Kvas – a sweet and sour sparkling beverage brewed from yeast, sugar and dried rye bread, kefir which is milk fermented by both yeast and lactobacillus bacteria and having a similar taste to yogurt, ryazhanka is another kind of natural yoghurt made of baked milk. There are many mineral water, that is strongly carbonated.
Here you can find the most popular recipes of Ukrainian cuisine!
1. Cold Borsch
2-3 beets, 2 hard-boiled eggs, 2 cucumbers, 3-4 potatoes, spring onions, dill, parsley, salt. Peel the beets, cut into stripes and put into salted and boiling water. Boil twice and pour off half of the beet-liquid, pour more water and add peeled and diced potatoes and simmer until cooked. Sprinkle chopped dill, parsley and spring onion and add chopped eggs and cucumbers. Pour the quenched beet-liquid and add salt. Serve cold with sour cream!
1 kg wheat, hulled, 1,5 cup honey, 1,5 cup sugar, 1 cup poppy seeds, 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped, 1 cup raisins, prunes or candied apricots. Wash and put the wheat into a saucepan or a heatproof pot. Add water to cover the wheat and bring it to boil. Preheat the oven to 150C. Place the saucepan with the wheat into the oven and cook for one hour. Pre-stew the poppy seeds, grind them and chop the walnuts. Wash and dry the raisins. Place the stewed wheat into a deep bowl or a clay ceramic plate. Dissolve honey in boiled water and add it together with the poppy seeds, walnuts and raisins to the wheat and stir. Decorate with prunes and apricots.
3/4 c. bread crumbs (dry), 2 1/2 c. potatoes (grated), 1 sm. onion (grated), 1 egg (beaten), 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 sage, dash of pepper. Mix all ingredients until well blended. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto hot, greased skillet. Spread the batter and brown pancakes on both sides. Serve hot with butter. Tip: using bread crumbs instead of flour makes the pancakes lighter and they brown quicker.
Dough: 600 g flour, 3 eggs, 40 g melted butter, 250 g milk, 10 g salt. Fillings: stewed cabbage, cottage cheese with suger, boiled potato with fried onion and mushrooms, minced meat. Mix flour with milk, eggs, salt and work into dough. Finally, add the melted butter and knead it in. Roll the dough out thinly and cut out small round shapes. Place the desired filling on each piece of dough, fold the dough into half-moon shape and press together firmly. Cook varenyky in a good amount of boiling water for 5 minutes until they emerge on the surface. Get varenyky out of water, add some butter and serve with sour cream.