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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   Russia   >   Recipes


Russian Recipes

Russia is well-known for its agriculture, and most traditional Russian dishes stem from this heritage. Additionally, Russian cooks have taken influences from the country's historic neighbours such the Ottoman Empire and Persia, and this "Eastern" influence can be seen in many dishes.
  • Many cereal crops, including wheat, rye, millet and barley are grown in the rich Russian soil, and these provide the raw materials for breads, pancakes, kvass (a weakly alcoholic "bread drink") as well as bread and vodka.

  • Vegetables include beet, carrots, cucumber, potatoes, rutabagas (yellow turnips) and turnips.

  • Berries, mushrooms and honey are also used, as are meats, poultry, fish and game.
Soups form a very important part of the Russian diet. Russian soups include:
  • Borshch - The Russian version of borscht. It is a vegetable soup that is primarily made from bets, although meat, cabbage and potatoes are often added.

  • Shchi - Russia's traditional cabbage soup. This soup comes in many varieties, for example their is a poor-man's version made from only cabbage and onions, and richer versions which add additional ingredients such as meat, carrots, parsley, spices and herbs, as well as apples, smetana (Russian sour cream) or pickle water.

  • Soljanka - This is a thick soup with a sour spicy flavor. The dish always contains pickled cucumbers, and may also include cabbage, cream, dill and salty mushrooms. Mushrooms, meat or fish are also present in the soup.


  • Okroshka - This traditional Russian soup is made from kvas (the Russian bread drink), and served cold. There are several varieties of this soup, respectively based around fish, meat or vegetables. In all cases the soup is made from a combination of neutral-tasting vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, rutabagas (yellow turnips) and turnips, together with green onions and other spicy vegetables such as celery,chervil, dill, parsley or tarragon. Spices are often added to the soup, and these may include black pepper, mustard or pickled cucumber.

  • Teur - This soup is very similar to okroshka, however it is made using bread instead of vegetables.

Some other popular Russian dishes include:
  • Studen (Kholodets) - This is jellied meat (pork or veal) made using spices and a small amount of added vegetables. The meat is boiled for a long-time and the chilled. This dish can be used as a garnish for other dishes, or may be eaten cold, in the latter case it is served with horse radish, mustard or smetana (Russian sour cream).

  • Pirozhki - This dish is similar pie. It is a bun stuffed with a cooked filling. Most fillings include chopped hard-boiled eggs as well as other ingredients. The other ingredients may be mashed potatoes and sour cream, chopped boiled meat, or fish sautéed with onions.

  • Blini - Blini is one of the better known dishes outside of Russia - they are thin pancakes, made from wheat or buckwheat, which are usually served topped with caviar or sour cream (but never both).

  • Katlyeti - These are small meatloves made from beef or pork that are cooked by pan-frying.

  • Shashlyk - Shashlyk is the Russian version of shish kebab (a kebab made using alternating slices of meat and onions) Although not brought into the country until the 19th century, it soon became a popular dish, and remains a popular street food throughout Russia.

    Shashlyk being cooked

Additionally, beginning in the 18th century during the reign of Catherine the Great, Russian began to open to the West. Most noteably, many Russian noble households brought chefs and other household staff from France, resulting in a new Franco-Russian cuisine - which includes many of the most famous "Russian" dishes now known around the world:
  • Veal Orloff - This dish was created by Urbain Dubois, who was the chef to Prince Orloff (the Russian ambassador to France). A braised loin of veal is cut thinly into slices, and then the slices are restacked with layers of pureed mushrooms and onions inbetween each slice. The dish is then topped with white sauce and cheese, and browned in the oven.

    Beef Stroganoff
  • Beef Stoganoff - Although the exact origins of this dish remain obscure it is believed to trace its roots to the 19th century. The dish consists of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with sour cream.

  • Sharlotka (charlotte russe) - This dessert was created by Marie Antoine Carême, the chef to Czar Alexander I. A mould is lined with lady fingers (small light sponge cakes, each about the size of a finger), and then filled with Bavarian creme, which is a type of thick custard (it is thickened using gelatin).
Here are some recipe books and cookbooks for Russian food:

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Books about Russian Cooking and Recipes

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Recipes: Russian Cooking - Foods of the World

By Helen Waite Papashvily

Spiral-bound (112 pages)

Recipes: Russian Cooking - Foods of the World
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  • Baked Stuffed Eggplant Halves
  • Fish Cakes with Mustard Sauce
  • Chocolate Almond Torte with Mocha Frosting
Product Description:
Ethnic Russian recipes.

Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking

By Bonnie Frumkin Morales

Flatiron Books
Released: 2017-11-14
Hardcover (400 pages)

Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking
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Celebrated Portland chef Bonnie Frumkin Morales brings her acclaimed Portland restaurant Kachka into your home kitchen with a debut cookbook enlivening Russian cuisine with an emphasis on vibrant, locally sourced ingredients.

“With Kachka, Bonnie Morales has done something amazing: thoroughly update and modernize Russian cuisine while steadfastly holding to its traditions and spirit. Thank you comrade!”
Alton Brown

From bright pickles to pillowy dumplings, ingenious vodka infusions to traditional homestyle dishes, and varied zakuski to satisfying sweets, Kachka the cookbook covers the vivid world of Russian cuisine. More than 100 recipes show how easy it is to eat, drink, and open your heart in Soviet-inspired style, from the celebrated restaurant that is changing how America thinks about Russian food.

The recipes in this book set a communal table with nostalgic Eastern European dishes like Caucasus-inspired meatballs, Porcini Barley Soup, and Cauliflower Schnitzel, and give new and exciting twists to current food trends like pickling, fermentation, and bone broths.

Kachka’s recipes and narratives show how Russia’s storied tradition of smoked fish, cultured dairy, and a shot of vodka can be celebratory, elegant, and as easy as meat and potatoes. The food is clear and inviting, rooted in the past yet not at all afraid to play around and wear its punk rock heart on its sleeve.

Russian Cookbook: Traditional Russian Recipes Made Easy

By Grizzly Publishing

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (122 pages)

Russian Cookbook: Traditional Russian Recipes Made Easy
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A cookbook on traditional Russian cuisine that outlines recipes not to be read as a pastime but to be followed in the kitchen with ease and without confusion – that is exactly what this cookbook is all about.

You may have had doubts or an initial level interest in the food culture of Russia; perhaps you never got around to digging a little deeper into the recipes and ingredients that are most widely used in Russian cooking. Well, fret not! This cookbook is here as your knight in shining armour.

Apart from shedding light on the foods that have been indulged in throughout the ages and history of this land, this book also helps you understand how everything that looks daunting to try out – is actually not.

In this book, you will get access to authentic recipes for:

The world famous beef stroganoffAuthentic Russian soups like BorschtInteresting desserts options like Chak ChakAnd some wide variety of authentic Russian breakfast, salads and soup recipes.

Every single Russian recipe you have ever heard of but found the very concept of to be intimidating is, in fact, something you could just waltz into your kitchen and whip it up with ease, glee, and a tempting aroma wafting through your home.

So what are you waiting for? Click on the buy now button right now and buy your copy today!

Russian Cuisine: Traditional and Contemporary Home Cooking

By Maria Depenweiller

Whitecap Books
Paperback (236 pages)

Russian Cuisine: Traditional and Contemporary Home Cooking
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Discover the fascinating details of Russian history, culture and eating habits and enjoy the tasty delights of the vast country that spans through 11 time zones and brings together more than 180 ethnic groups.

Detailing the evolution and development of traditional Russian cooking, this book gives a better understanding of the foods that are now known as classical Russian dishes. Through the words of native Muscovite, Maria Depenweiller, who was born and raised in Moscow before immigrating to Canada, Russian Cuisine: Traditional and Contemporary Home Cooking covers not only Russian cooking methods such as the Russian oven samovar, but also the impact of Russian politics on its food.

Discover how:
The Soviet Revolution impacted Russian eating habits.
Or how the Russian tea drinking tradition got started.
Learn about the home cooking of the Russian Empire and try schi and rasstegai.
Delight your guests with marvelous assortment of zakuski or ant hill torte from the classical Soviet cuisine.
Complete the experience with suggested reading from the literature Russian classics and music accompaniment to match the mood.

From table settings, to backyard gardens and pantry items, this book teaches you everything you need to know about Russian food.

Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook

By Anya von Bremzen

Brand: Workman Publishing Company
Paperback (688 pages)

Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook
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From the robust foods of the Baltic states to the delicately perfumed pilafs of Azerbaijan, from borscht and beef stroganoff to the grains and yogurts of Georgia, Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman take Westerners on a spectacular tour of the many and varied cuisines of the fifteen former Soviet republics. Anya von Bremzen, a native Muscovite, grew up on regional cooking and has traveled extensively throughout the former Soviet Union, visiting professional chefs, touring markets, and sampling and gathering dishes. Covering eleven time zones and hundreds of recipes, Please to the Table brings to light the astounding culinary diversity of this corner of the world-and the similarities between the cuisines, too. Here are Byelorussion Mushroom Croquettes, Armenian Stuffed Mussels, and dozens of other zakuski-the "little bites" that are the heart and soul of Russian meals. Soups from Armenian Lentil and Apricot Soup to Lithuanian Apple Soup with Apple Dumplings. Dozens of entrees including Uzbek Lamb Pilaf, Russian Salmon with Sorrel and Spinach, Azerbaijani Quail in Walnut and Pomegranate Sauce, Armenian Pumpkin Moussaka. And side dishes, salads, beverages, and desserts such as Russian Cranberry Mousse and an Almond and Pistachio Paklava. Plus vatrushki, pampushki, halushki, blinchiki, sirniki, and pirozhki. Winner of the 1990 James Beard Food and Beverage Book Award. Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club's Homestyle Books and the Better Homes & Gardens Family Book Service. 58,000 copies in print.

Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore [A Cookbook]

By Darra Goldstein

Ten Speed Press
Released: 2020-02-04
Hardcover (320 pages)

Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore [A Cookbook]
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100 traditional yet surprisingly modern recipes from the far northern corners of Russia, featuring ingredients and dishes that young Russians are rediscovering as part of their heritage.

Russian cookbooks tend to focus on the food that was imported from France in the nineteenth century or the impoverished food of the Soviet era. Beyond the North Wind explores the true heart of Russian food, a cuisine that celebrates whole grains, preserved and fermented foods, and straightforward but robust flavors.

Recipes for a dazzling array of pickles and preserves, infused vodkas, homemade dairy products such as farmers cheese and cultured butter, puff pastry hand pies stuffed with mushrooms and fish, and seasonal vegetable soups showcase Russian foods that are organic and honest--many of them old dishes that feel new again in their elegant minimalism. Despite the country's harsh climate, this surprisingly sophisticated cuisine has an incredible depth of flavor to offer in dishes like Braised Cod with Horseradish, Roast Lamb with Kasha, Black Currant Cheesecake, and so many more.

This home-style cookbook with a strong sense of place and evocative storytelling brings to life a rarely seen portrait of Russia, its people, and its palate--with 100 recipes, gorgeous photography, and essays on the little-known culinary history of this fascinating and wild part of the world.

The Food & Cooking of Russia: Discover the rich and varied character of Russian cuising, in 60 authentic recipes and 300 glorious photographs (The Food and Cooking of)

By Elena Makhonko

Lorenz Books
Released: 2009-09-16
Hardcover (128 pages)

The Food & Cooking of Russia: Discover the rich and varied character of Russian cuising, in 60 authentic recipes and 300 glorious photographs (The Food and Cooking of)
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  • Aquamarine
Product Description:
Discover the rich and varied character of Russian cuisine, in a unique volume offering over 60 authentic dishes that reflect an incredible range of cultural influences


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