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“The 4 Essential Ingredients In Kitchen” series is back! After featuring for home kitchens in Indonesia, Sichuan, and Hangzhou, we decided to take a bit further this time, to visit Alexander, a Russian chef’s kitchen at home. He is sharing with us the four ingredients that are mostly kept at home for Russian cuisine.©mobichef.com

Russia is located in the north of Eurasia and it is the largest country in the world by area. The limited crops and the local resources forms a unique culinary culture in Russia. According to Alexander, the 4 ingredients his family frequently use are buckwheat, sour cream, beet root, and pickled herring fish. They are commonly found in daily cuisine.©mobichef.com

 

Buckwheat©mobichef.com

Like rice to Asian, buckwheat is one of the staples for Russian. They usually use buckwheat to make porridge, bread, muffin and so on. A home cooking dish called “Kasha” is to cook buckwheat into porridge, either served sweet or savory, as breakfast or side dish. Russian has a proverb “щи да каша – пища наша” (shchi da kasha – pishcha nashi). It literally means “Kasha and shchi (cabbage soup) are our staples.” that shows the importance of buckwheat as a staple in Russian cuisine.©mobichef.com

 

Sour cream©mobichef.com

Sour cream is often used in Russian cuisine too. No matter you are making soup, salad, main course or dessert, sour cream can be found in the ingredient list. For example, “shchi” that mentioned above and “Pelmeni” – traditional Russian dumplings – are served with sour cream. Russian family cooks Pelmeni at home. They make large amount of dumplings at a time and put into the freezer. When the dish is planned in a dinner menu, they cook the Pelmeni with butter or broth, and serve sour cream on side.©mobichef.com

Chef Alexander tells us that Russians learn to make Plemeni since they are kids!©mobichef.com

 

WhatsApp Image 2018-12-28 at 19.00.56 (4)Some Russian soup is finished with sour cream added.

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Beetroot©mobichef.com

Beetroot has high level of nutritional value and it is commonly seen in Russian cuisine, especially salad and soup. The authentic way of making Borscht, a Russian soup dish that Hong Kong people are familiar with, is to add beetroot. It enriches the flavor and color of the soup.©mobichef.com

There is a special way to cook with beetroot. It can be used to marinate and dye the ingredients red naturally . One of Alexander’s popular appetizers, Cured Salmon with Beetroot and Spice served with Horseradish & Wasabi Cream, is using beetroot in such way. The salmon has a beautiful ruby red color with a delicate scent encircles the dish.©mobichef.com

 

WhatsApp Image 2018-12-28 at 19.00.56 (5)Alexander’s appetizer: beetroot is used to marinate salmon

 

Pickled herring fish©mobichef.com

Pickled fish is a common ingredient in Europe. In Russia, pickled herring fish can be found in salads and appetizers. A salad called “Shuba” is one example.mobichef.com

To briefly describe how to make “Shuba”, pickled herring fish, potatoes, carrots, and other ingredients are cooked and folded in layers. Then, beetroot and mayonnaise will be placed on top. The salad may sound unusual to our culinary culture, but it is a classic, popular dish in Russia.©mobichef.com

 

After learning the 4 essential ingredients, would you love to try some Russian dishes? Go check out Chef Alexander’s menus on MobiChef.com! He has some Caviar-themed menus, while Caviar is also a signature ingredient in Russia!

 

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