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5 most popular Russian cuisine recipes that everybody can cook

a sandwich sitting on top of a wooden cutting board

When we travel around the world we always visit new restaurants or meet locals to learn more about local food as it is part of the culture of any country. Our tourists always ask for advice on what food to try, what are the most popular Russian cuisine recipes. Some tourists join our home-cooking class in Moscow to learn how to cook Russian dishes and learn the secret ingredients.

Some dishes of the Russian cuisine are of genuine interest some seem to be ordinary ones, and others may seem to be too exotic to try them. We decided to share with you the simplest recipes of Russian cuisine so that you can cook delicious dishes yourself.

a bowl of food on a table


Frankly speaking it’s a secret for us why in English speaking countries Borscht is written with the letter “t” at the end. In the Russian language, it is pronounced without this “t”.

Anyway, an interesting fact, that Beta – this is how the ancient Greeks called beets is the second letter of their alphabet, from which later both Latin and Cyrillic evolved. But until XVI century people did not eat it and it was wild. Only in Germany in XVI people started to grow it for food. 

According to one version this tasty, fragrant and healthy soup came to us from Kiev Rus in the XIV century. Over time, borscht became very popular not only among peasants but also tsar family fell in love with it. For example, Catherine II called borscht her favorite dish and had a separate cook at the court for cooking it.

But this is a story. Today, borscht is strongly associated with Russian or Ukrainian cuisine and may be called the most famous dish abroad from Russia.

There are many recipes and variants of how to cook Borscht. We want to share the one that is popular among Siberian cooks.

a pot on the stove

Ingredients (4 servings):

1 big peeled beet ( 300 g)
1 onion (100 g)
1 peeled carrot (100 g)
2,5 tablespoons of tomato paste (70 g)
1 peeled potato (100 g)
1 cup of shredded white cabbage (100 g)
1 teaspoon of sugar (10 g)
1 teaspoon of salt (10 g)
2 garlic cloves (10 g)
Black pepper (2 g)
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (50 g)
3 cups of Beef broth (700 ml)
Boiled beef (400 g)
½ cup of sour cream (120 g)
Bay leaf, 1 pc.
Black pepper (peas)
Lemon Juice, 1/2 Lemon
Dill, parsley



  1. Bring the broth to a simmer. During this time prepare the vegetables. Cut the beets into strips, fry in oil, add tomato paste salt and sugar, ½ cup of broth, and half of the lemon juice. Simmer until beets are tender.


  1. Сut onions and carrots into strips, cut garlic, fry in olive oil separately from beets until cooked. Cut the potatoes into cubes, chop the cabbage into strips.


  1. Put the cabbage in the salted broth, let it boil for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until tender.


  1. Add fried vegetables to the soup. Bring to a boil and add beets, the rest lemon juice and seasonings. As soon as the soup begins to boil, remove from heat. Let it brew for 15-20 minutes.


  1. When serving, add beef (cut it before into bite-sized pieces), sour cream and chopped herbs.

a plate of food on a table


Not a single New Year celebration can be without this salad in Russia. Chopped almost in porridge and seasoned with mayo vegetables have nothing to do with European salads! Foreigners call Olivier – “Russian salad”. However, many like it.
Our subscriber from Portugal wrote that  In Portugal it’s very popular in summer. They call it a Russian Salad and add canned tuna to the vegetables. Some people wrote that could not imagine it is Russian cuisine recipe, some add apple, some don’t add onions.
Here is the recipe that we usually cook in Russia.

a person holding a plate of food

Ingredients (6-8 servings):

3 medium-sized potatoes
3-4 carrots
4-5 eggs
ham or boiled beef (350 g)
1 can of green peas
5-6 pickles
5 green onion shoots
1 bunch of dill
mayonnaise (250 g) (preferably homemade)
ground black pepper



  1. Wash the potatoes and carrots with a brush and boil in salted water until tender. Boil the eggs separately. Peel and cut into cubes with a side of 5 mm. Cut the ham in the same cubes.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl, add finely chopped green onions and dill. 
  3. If pickles are with large seeds then remove them. Then cut into cubes of the same size and add to the bowl. Drain the liquid from the peas and add to the bowl.
  4. Season with black pepper, season with mayonnaise and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  5. Before serving, mix the salad again, try and if necessary add salt and black pepper.

a plate of food on a table

Beef Stroganoff

There are several versions of the origin of this dish, and all of them are associated with the Stroganov dynasty. Sliced beef in sour cream sauce was mentioned first in the 18th century, but Beef stroganoff entered the world stage in 1891 when the cook Charles Brier sent the recipe to the competition of the French culinary magazine.
After the Second World War, beef stroganoff finally got the status of a “Russian dish” and became widely known abroad.

a plate of food with rice meat and vegetables


beef (tenderloin or longest muscle of the back) (400 g)
2 onion onions
1 cup of sour cream (150-200 g)
tablespoon of butter (50 g)
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil 
1 tablespoon of flour 
1-2 tablespoons of tomato sauce or tomato paste 
freshly ground pepper



  1. Wash the meat, dry well with paper towels and cut into slices, 5-7 mm
  2. Put the meat between two layers of cling film (or in a bag) and gently pound it.
  3. Then cut layers into thin strips across the fibers.
  4. Peel and cut the onion into strips.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a pan and 2 tbsp of oil, put onion, salt, pepper and fry until soft on low heat, stirring from time to time.
  6. Sprinkle the fried onion with flour and mix it. Add sour cream and tomato sauce and mix it.
  7. Pour some water until it boils (so that the sauce is not too thick or liquid) and mix it. 
  8. Boil the sauce a little, stirring constantly to get the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper.
  9. Take one more pan, heat it and melt the remaining butter (1 tbsp) and 1 tbsp of oil.
  10. Put the meat (you may not fry it all at once, but in small portions, fry it and not stew). Fry for 3-4 minutes, until tender, add salt and pepper.
  11. Put the fried meat to the sauce. Stir and simmer for another 2-3 minutes over low heat (or until the meat is soft).
  12. Serve it with mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, pasta or rice. When serving, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

a plate of food on a table


Syrniki are fried cottage cheese pancakes garnished with jam, honey or sour cream. The cottage cheese, from which syrniki are made, was known even in Ancient Rome, but in Russia, we called it “cheese” (syr), since it was obtained from raw milk. It began to be called “tvorog” only in the 18th century, when Peter I brought hard (rennet) cheeses from Europe and set up their production in Russia. That is why we call them syrniki! 
It is one of the oldest recipes and it is a part of Belarusian, Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian and Serbian cuisine. 

a plate of food on a table


tvorog (quark, cottage cheese, can be also replaced with ricotta)
½ cup of flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt


Mix all together, shape it in small balls, then flatten them a little with your hands. Fry syrniki in a well-heated pan with 3-4 tbsp. of oil until they are golden brown on every side. Fry syrniki on medium heat, so you get the optimal frying.

a plate of food


Pancakes are no longer considered to be exotic. But in most countries, it is customary to eat them with something sweet. So that a pancake stuffed with meat or fish will cause surprise. 

This Russian cuisine recipe is not something unusual. The filling of the pancake depends on your imagination. 

a sandwich sitting on top of a wooden cutting board

For the batter you need:

mix 2 eggs, a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of sugar;
add 2 cups of milk or water, mix;
gradually pour 420 g (approximately 2.5 faceted cups) of wheat flour and pour another 0.5 milk / water;


Stir constantly until the batter becomes homogeneous.
When the batter is ready, pour it in a thin even layer on a hot frying pan, oiled. Bring to a golden brown on two sides. Put on a plate. Lay the filling on one side. Wrap a pancake. 
For the filling, you can use minced meat or chicken, fried with onions. Chicken fillet or buckwheat porridge with mushrooms. Ham with cheese. Liver or salmon.

Take your chance and join the online Home cooking experience with ExploRussia co-founder Olga and her lovely daughter Lena! You decide what Russian dish you want to cook, enjoy a friendly atmosphere as if you are a guest of the family, and cook some Russian cuisine dishes yourself!