9 Classic Ukrainian Dishes to Try in 2022
The main word that comes to mind when thinking about Ukrainian food is delicious. This cuisine offers a great variety of dishes, both main ones and desserts. Ukrainian cuisine relies on quite simple ingredients that anyone can find in the stores. You will definitely be able to find easy Ukrainian recipes to your taste and here you can discover all the top traditional Ukrainian food options you should try.
Eastern European Influence on Ukrainian Dishes
Ukrainian traditional food has an extremely rich history. Having neighboring countries inevitably influences the culture and cuisine. This is something that can certainly be said about Ukraine, as its cuisine was affected by Poland, Romania, Moldova, and other countries.
If you take a look at the cuisine of Eastern European countries you will notice a lot of similarities and dishes that use similar ingredients but are made in slightly different ways. In such a way,Ukrainian food traditions have been influenced not only by the fertile soil of the country but also by its neighbors.
What Exactly Is Ukrainian Food?
While it’s difficult to summarize the food traditions of an entire country in just a few sentences, there are some factors that play a crucial role in Ukrainian cuisine. Because Ukraine is a significant producer of sunflower oil, wheat, corn, and some grains, this is immediately obvious in its national dishes.
There is a heavy focus on pastry and different dishes made of wheat flour — varenyky, halushky, babka,pliatsok, and others.
Some of the most widespread ingredients in Ukrainian cuisine include the following:
What Are the Most Popular Dishes in Ukraine?
Ukrainian cuisine boasts a huge number of dishes but some are more famous than others. Here are some dishes that you should look into:
Borscht is one of the most popular dishes in Ukraine and there exist an endless number of variants. Referred to in English as a beetroot soup, this amazing dish has been recognized as the intangible cultural heritage of Ukraine, so it’s definitely a big deal in this country.
The recipes can vary, but the main ingredients include vegetables (beetroot, carrot, onion, potato, cabbage), tomato paste, and meat (most commonly, beef or pork).
Borschtis traditionally served hot and with a dollop of sour cream, but it can be made vegan if you take away meat and avoid serving it with sour cream.
It’s not a secret that Ukrainian people love salo. If you are not familiar with this dish, it is basically cured pork lard, which is often consumed as a side dish or zakuski.
This pork lard is salty and cream, which makes it a perfect addition to different Ukrainian dishes, such as borscht. Another way it is often consumed is on its own on rye bread and along with different greens and mustard.
This is one of the simplest dishes in Ukrainian cuisine and it is also surprisingly healthy.
Another typical Ukrainian dish that should be on the list is varenyky. A lot of people know them outside of Ukraine under the name of “pierogies” and they are definitely an essential part of Ukrainian cuisine.
Varenyky are basically dumplings that can be filled with all kinds of different ingredients. The most popular fillings in Ukraine include mashed potato, cabbage, and cheese.
When it comes to the sweet versions, they are often made with berries, especially cherries.
Banush is a popular family dish, which originated in the Western parts of Ukraine, particularly in the Carpathians. Nowadays, people all over Ukraine enjoy this dish regardless of the holidays.
This dish is essentially a corn porridge, which is made to be particularly smooth and creamy. The reason is that it’s made from corn flour with the addition of sour cream or traditional Hutsul cheese.
While it can be consumed on its own, it tastes especially amazing with different toppings, such as mushrooms, crumbled cheese, fried pieces of salo, and such.
If you are looking for a super fast and easy to make dish, you should consider syrniki. This is a sweet dish, which is similar in its preparation to pancakes but is made on the basis of cottage cheese.
The recipe can change slightly depending on the family but usual ingredients include flour, cottage cheese, an egg, and some sugar.
A lot of people add raisins to their syrniki and serve them with sour cream. If you go to any Ukrainian cuisine restaurants, this is one of those dishes you will definitely find on the menu.
If we talk about dishes that are associated with specific holidays, kutia is probably the main one that comes to mind. This is a traditional Christmas dinner dish, which is made of grain and sweetened with sugar or honey.
Depending on the tastes, families add different additional ingredients to make it sweeter and more delicious.
The options include nuts, poppy seeds, dried fruit, raisins, and more. While you can make this dish any time of the year, Ukrainians associate it specifically with the Christmas holiday.
Deruny is another beloved Ukrainian dish, which you can also see in other Easter European cuisines but under different names. Deruny are tasty potato pancakes, which are fried on the pan or baked in the oven.
To make deruny, it is important to grate potatoes and then you can add different ingredients that you like, such as herbs, onion, mushrooms, and even meat.
The traditional recipe can feature only salt, paper, and onion, so you can always keep it simple. Deruny is also often served with sour cream or different sauces.
If you are looking for a filling main dish, you should definitely try making golubtsi. This dish is made with cabbage leaves that are filled with different ingredients and stewed in a pot. The most basic ingredients of golubtsi include minced meat and rice.
It is common to add tomato paste to the sauce in which golubtsi are stewing. If you are a vegetarian, another option is to make golubtsi with rice and mushrooms. The dish is commonly served with sour cream.
It seems that many cuisines just cannot get enough of garlic bread. Pampushky is a favorite of many people in Ukraine, as they are as delicious as it gets.
They are made of yeast dough and are incredibly fluffy and soft. Traditionally, they are made in the shape of medium-sized balls and they are popular side dishes to soups and borscht. Pampushy can be sweet and sour, but the most popular option is with garlic.
Try These Incredible Dishes and You Won’t Regret It
If you have never tried any Ukrainian dishes, you are seriously missing out. This cuisine offers such an incredible selection of food that you will definitely fall in love with it. A big bonus is that the majority of dishes are quite easy to make and you are unlikely to struggle to find the ingredients in your local grocery store.