Borsch is the highly acclaimed Ukrainian national soup. This red beet and cabbage soup has long been thought to represent the Ukrainian culture, which ultimately earned for itself the stature of being a national symbol.
The name of the recipe is derived from the ancient Slavic word br’sch, which means “beet.” Borsch has acquired myriad unique versions, as almost every town or city in Ukraine introduced its own special way of preparing the dish.
Borsch is also a mainstay on the menu list of Ukrainian restaurants and diners. However, the best borsch soup recipes are the homemade ones, as this meal is made for and is best enjoyed during intimate moments at the comfort of your own home.
Borsch is often served with hot and fresh pampushkas or small Ukrainian breads.
The name Sauerkraut is the German translation for “sour cabbage.” As the name suggests, sauerkraut is a dish of thinly chopped cabbage prepared through the process of lacto-fermentation.
Lacto-fermentation is the same food processing used in making pickles and the Korean kimchi, wherein food is fermented by lactic acid bacteria.
Sauerkraut commonly has a unique rancid quality and a considerably long storage life. Pasteurization may also be performed to further prolong the storage life of the authentic dish.
Sashlik is the Ukrainian counterpart of the Western grilled treats such as barbecues, sausages, and burger patties. It is marinated and well-seasoned meat grilled on skewers or metal fastener pins.
This picnic favorite has also been reinvented into unique versions, with particular modifications in the marinating and seasoning processes to suit specific taste preferences. Some authentic renditions of the dish are also derived from distinct family traditions of preparation or even ethnic cooking practices.
Sashlik is a chief player in food trips and outdoor parties. For the constantly on-the-go, it is always available in shashlychnayas or sashlik snack bars.
Solyanka is an old Russian recipe of a thick soup with clashing vinegary and spicy flavors. The dish originated from the war era, when Soviet troops adapted the recipe from Eastern German restaurants.
The soup is an interesting blend of pickled cucumbers, cabbage, mushrooms, smetana or homemade sour cream, and dill – all steeped in salt saturated water. Solyanka comes in three variations, depending on the main ingredient.
Meat solyanka is primed with beef, chicken, ham, or sausage, while fish solyanka is prepared with fresh salmon, crayfish, or sturgeon. A healthier rendition of the dish is comprised of only mushrooms, with the rest of the ingredients baked with breadcrumbs and butter.
Varenyky, literally meaning “boiled thing,” are boiled Ukrainian stuffed dumplings glazed with butter or cooking oil. The stuffing may be a combination of sauerkraut, meat, cheese, mashed potatoes, and hard-boiled eggs.
Like most Ukrainian dishes, varenyky is prepared through varying procedures and using different authentic recipes. While the usual preparation involves boiling the dumplings, another common method requires steaming them for a fresher and juicier outcome.
Varenyky is often served with onions and the Ukrainian staple siding Smetana, or homemade sour cream.
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