Did you know that when you visit Russia there is a chance for you to have the same dish the whole day and for a full three-course meal too? Meet piroshki, the Russian hand pies that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner – as appetizers, main course, and desserts too. That is an amazing fact, right? Well, maybe this is nothing new since there are other dishes around the world with similar versatility. So what differs piroshki that one can have for desserts with one can eat for a main course? Here are 8 kinds of Russian piroshki you should taste.
1. Mushroom Piroshki
These piroshki are usually eaten as appetizers, and mushrooms are commonly used in Russian dishes. There are two types of dough to make piroshki; yeast dough and crusty pastry or pie. Mushroom piroshki use pastry dough which is common for appetizer or delicacies and they are baked instead of fried. As for the filling, these ingredients are stuffed into the dough:
- Butter or margarine
- Chopped onion
- Chopped mushrooms
- Chopped hard-boiled egg yolk
- Salt and pepper
These piroshki can easily be found in delis, diners, or snack stalls around Russia. They can be eaten on its own or with sour cream dipping.
2. Fresh Cherry Piroshki
Sweet bun-type piroshki are also perfect for appetizers, and fresh fruits filling is just so Russian. So these fresh cherry piroshki are definitely a must-try. Yeast dough is used for the buns, and – like the mushroom piroshki – they are baked. Fresh cherry piroshki are also great for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon snack together with a cup of tea or coffee.
3. Cheese Piroshki
Being a part of Europe, Russia has abundant amount of cheese and many kinds of it. A lot of Russian cookings, snacks, and delicacies use cheese in the recipes. Piroshki come in many shapes, but they must be easy to be held with hands – that is maybe the principal of these Russian hand pies. For cheese piroshki, one to three types of these cheese are used as the filling; feta, mozzarella, and strong cheddar. This type of piroshki use leavened dough, round-shaped, and a bit smaller than a hamburger. They can be grabbed from delis and reheated at home to come out quite similar to grilled cheese. Perfect for breakfast and brunch.
4. Cabbage Piroshki
Now these ones are true classic Russian piroshki. Cabbage piroshki have been around since the Soviet Union time and commonly eaten for lunch. Some modern recipes would direct both the cabbage and dough to be fried, but actually the cabbage is supposed to be braised and the dough baked. The classic recipe of this kind of piroshki calls for:
- Dry active yeast
- Flour (the type depends on preference; could be all-purpose, wheat, buckwheat, and more)
- Chopped cabbage, braised
- Grated carrots
- Onion, sautéed
- Tomato paste
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
These classic piroshki can be found allover Russia and sold warm for a quick lunch or breakfast if you happen to be in a hurry but still need a good meal to fill your tummy.
5. Salmon Piroshki
Russia has a lot of fish-based dishes. This fact is very much affected by the Orthodox Christianity in the country and their fasting that only allows fish to be part of the diet, not to mention how rich Russia is with water regions that offer abundant supply of edible fish. Salmon can easily be found in any restaurants and shops in Russia, all good and fresh. Fish-stuffed piroshki are on the same shelf with cabbage piroshki as classic hand pies. It is common in Russia to eat salmon-stuffed piroshki for snack and you can have the best of them in the Russia’s finest bakeries.
6. Beef & Onion Piroshki
Let us now see the heavier kind of Russian piroshki that are usually stuffed with meat – either chicken or beef, though the latter is more common and the one we will get up, close and personal now. Use leavened dough for the pocket, and the following ingredients for the filling:
- Ground beef
- Chopped onion
- Minced garlic
- Chopped spinach
- Havarti cheese
- Sour cream
- Salt and pepper
Both the bun and filling of these piroshki are enough for you to feel full at dinner time. They can be had together with light soup like sorrel or processed cheese; a duet of ultimate comfort food.
7. Potato Piroshki
As we have mentioned before, the size of piroshki could vary from hamburger size to chocolate-bar size. These potato piroshki are the smaller ones. If you attempt to make them yourself, choose fresh and waxy potatoes to fill the piroshki. Because of the size, these potato piroshki can be eaten for snack and perfect for parties. Sour cream and cream cheese dipping go well with them. They are also great for appetizer or soup’s excellent companies. Potato piroshki are among the most popular kinds of Russian hand pies.
8. Apple Piroshki
What reminds you of pie? Apple? Exactly. Because basically piroshki are pies, so they also come with apple filling. The traditional Russian piroshki don’t use chopped apples but the freshly chopped ones. As for the pocket, puff pastry is used – although sweet yeast dough won’t do anybody harms either. Cinnamon sugar can be added to dust the top of the piroshki, and voila! Your Russian dessert is ready. These kinds of piroshki are so good you can’t have just one.
Those were the 8 kinds of Russian piroshki you should try and taste while visiting the country. But, it is highly possible for you to make them yourself at home since the ingredients are quite common and can be found anywhere around the world. In countries with Russian bakery or restaurant, piroshki can definitely be enjoyed too.