Sure, it’s almost impossible to spoil a dish with caviar. But so as to guarantee a winning flavor combination, we asked some top chefs in Moscow and St. Petersburg to share their signature recipes with this Russian delicacy.
1. Pelmeni (dumplings) with fish and red caviar
From Alexei Pavlov, chef at Nikita restaurant in Moscow
Pelmeni can be filled not only with meat, but fish too. They are especially popular in the Russian Far East. In traditional recipes, salo (pig fat) was added to the stuffing, but mayonnaise can be used instead.
- Whitefish - 100 g
- Pikeperch - 100 g
- (dorado or sea bass will also do)
- Fried onion - 50 g
- Salt, pepper, garlic to taste
- Dill - 3 g
- Mayonnaise - 50 g
- Flour - 400 g
- Water - 180 g
- Salt to taste
- Chicken stock - 50 g
- Cream 33% - 15 g
- Red caviar - 5 g
- Put the fish through a meat grinder to mash even the small bones that couldn’t be removed. Add spices, fried onion, garlic, dill, mayonnaise, and mix.
- Dough: Mix all the ingredients and knead.
- Shape the dumplings and boil in slightly salted water for 5-10 minutes until cooked.
- Serving: Mix chicken stock with cream and pour onto a plate, lay out the dumplings, and garnish with red caviar.
2. Olivier salad with king crab and caviar
From Alexander Volkov-Medvedev, chef at Ruski restaurant in Moscow
In some countries, Olivier is known as Russian salad, while in Russia it is inextricably linked with the name of French-Belgian chef Lucien Olivier. Little remains of the original recipe — farewell to hazel-grouse, long live 'doctor's sausage'! However, the recipe below combines “Soviet” carrots with peas and more refined ingredients in the form of crab and caviar. It’s just possible that such a recipe would have tickled the taste buds of nobles in the 19th century when the salad was invented.
- Carrots - 20 g
- Potato - 20 g
- Red onion - 3 g
- Large boiled shrimps - 30 g
- Peeled pickles - 20 g
- Dressing - 10 g
- Canned green peas - 20 g
- Mini greens mix - 3 g
- Poached egg - 1 pc
- Crab - 50 g
- Caviar - 10 g
- Homemade mayonnaise - 100 g
- Parmesan cheese - 30 g
- Salt - 5 g
- Pickle brine - 50 g
- Peel the carrots and potatoes, boil and dice. Peel the pickles, dice like the potatoes and carrots. Chop the red onion very finely.
- Mix everything, add the canned peas, and season. To prepare the dressing, mix all the ingredients.
- Serving: Lay out the salad in a ring shape and place a hot poached egg at the center. Around the salad, sprinkle the mini greens. On top of the salad and egg, place crab meat warmed in butter. Add caviar to the crab.
3. Draniki with zucchini and red caviar
From Glen Ballis, chef at Kuznya restaurant in St. Petersburg
Pancakes with caviar are a Russian classic. But whereas they require a special knack, draniki (small potato pancakes), so beloved in Slavic cuisine, can be made by anyone.
- Onions - 14 g
- Zucchini - 60 g
- Potato - 75 g
- Fresh garlic - 1 g
- Salt - 1 g
- Egg - 1 pc
- Wheat flour - 11 g
- Vegetable oil - 6 ml
- Stracciatella cheese - 17 g (cream or soft curd cheese)
- Red caviar - 11 g
- Fresh greens - 1 g
- Seasoning - 5 g
- Basil oil - 3 ml
- Peel the zucchini, onions, and potatoes, rinse thoroughly with water. Grate the zucchini and place in a colander.
- Also grate the potatoes, and finely chop the onion. Combine the three ingredients and add flour, protein and egg yolk (pre-mixed), salt, seasoning, butter, and garlic. Mix all ingredients well.
- Fry the draniki in a well-heated pan until golden brown on one side, turn over, and fry on the other side.
- Serving: Place two draniki on a plate, and top with cheese and red caviar. Sprinkle with basil oil.
For Tsarsky salad and caviar roll recipes, see here.
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