Have you ever tried vegan Ukrainian food? If not, you're missing out! This Eastern European country has a long tradition of vegetarian and vegan cuisine, dating back to the times of the Soviet Union. Traditional Ukrainian cuisine is full of hearty, filling dishes that are perfect for vegans. From comforting soups to delicious desserts, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Already curious about it? We bring you 5 traditional Ukrainian recipes made vegan.
- Vegan Borscht - made with vibrant beets, hearty veggies and flavored with zippy lemon juice and dill.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium beets, peeled and diced (½ inch)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (½ inch)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups finely chopped cabbage
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced (½ inch)
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for serving
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegan sour cream, yogurt, or cashew cream, for serving
- Chopped fresh chives and/or parsley, for serving
- Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the beets, carrot and onions. Sauté until the veggies begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute, until very fragrant.
- Stir in the broth, tomato paste, cabbage and potato. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, until the veggies are tender, 15-20 minutes. You can add more broth or water if you like.
- Remove the pot from heat and stir in the lemon juice and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top with vegan sour cream, yogurt, or cashew cream, and a sprinkling of fresh dill, parsley and/or chives. Serve.
Instant Pot Method
- Press the "sauté" button on your Instant Pot, then add the oil. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the beets, carrot and onions. Sauté the veggies until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute, until very fragrant. Press the "cancel" button.
- Stir in the broth, tomato paste, cabbage and potato. Place the lid on your Instant Pot and set the valve to the "sealing" position. Press the "pressure cook" or "manual" button and set the pressure to high. Set the soup to cook for 15 minutes.
- When the soup has finished cooking, carefully move the valve to the "venting" position. Let the pressure release completely.
- Remove the lid from the Instant Pot. Stir in the lemon juice and dill. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with vegan sour cream, yogurt, or cashew cream, and a sprinkling of fresh dill, parsley and/or chives. Serve.
- Vareniki - dumplings filled with mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and dill
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING THE DOUGH:
- All purpose flour: 1 cup
- Vegetable oil: 1 teaspoon
- Salt: As per taste
- Water: As required to make a soft dough but it should not be sticky (something like roti dough)
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING THE FILLING:
- Potatoes- boiled and mashed: 2
- Chopped onions: ½ a cup
- Chopped mushrooms: ½ a cup
- Finely chopped dill and parsley: ½ a cup
- Olive oil: 1 tablespoon (If you are not vegan use butter as that’s the traditional medium)
- Black pepper: 1 teaspoon / as per taste
- Salt: as per taste
- Water for boiling the dumplings
- Salt: 1 teaspoon/ as per taste
- Olive oil / melted butter: 1 tablespoon
- Mix all the ingredients of dough and knead properly to make a soft dough but it should not be sticky. Cover with a plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for around half an hour
- Heat butter in a pan and add chopped onions to it. Fry till they start turning brown
- Now add in the chopped mushrooms and cook till the mushrooms are done
- Once mushrooms are cooked add this mixture to the mashed potatoes and also add in the chopped herbs, salt, and pepper, Keep aside the mixture
- Take out the dough from fridge and roll it evenly into thin sheets
- With the help of a cutter or a glass/ bowl make equal sized circles
- Take a dessert spoon of filling and put it in the center of the circle
- Seal the edges of the dumpling by pinching the corners. You can also wet your fingers to seal them properly. If you leave any side open the filling will come out while boiling the dumplings
- Boil water and salt in a pot and add these dumplings to it
- Cook for around 12-15 minutes
- Once done, take them out on a plate. Drizzle some olive oil/ melted butter. Garnish with chopped herbs and serve with Sour cream
- Kolach - Ukrainian Christmas Bread
For the Yeast:
- 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup lukewarm water
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
For the Dough:
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for the glaze
Steps to Make it
- Gather the ingredients.
- Prepare the yeast mixture. In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar and lukewarm water. Let stand 15 minutes or until bubbly.
- Make the dough. In a large bowl or a stand mixer, beat the eggs until thick. Beat in the yeast mixture, sugar, oil, and salt.
- Then add the 1/2 cup lukewarm water and mix until fully incorporated.
- Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well. Add remaining 2 cups of flour and knead until dough is smooth and blistered.
- Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour or until doubled.
- Punch down dough and let rise again until doubled. Knead by hand a few times and then turn out onto a lightly floured board
- Divide the dough into three equal pieces and braid. Shape into an oblong loaf and place on a parchment-lined baking pan. Or shape into a circle, joining the ends, and place in a greased 10-inch tube pan.
- Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled.
- Heat oven to 350 F. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 180 F.
- Brush bread with 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water the last 5 minutes of baking or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 degrees.
- Remove from oven and turn out of pans to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Enjoy as a lightly sweet dessert with tea or coffee after a meal or with butter for breakfast.
- Vegan Syrniki – tofu pancakes popular in the morning or as a dessert
- 1 block of firm tofu (10oz)
- 1/3 C soy milk
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1/4 C raisins
- coconut oil for cooking
- For vegan sour cream:
- 1/2 C raw cashews
- 1/4–1/3 C water
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch of salt
- Drain and press tofu. Cut it roughly and pat with paper towel.
- Place tofu, soy milk, vegan butter, vanilla extract and coconut sugar in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add half of the flour first and keep mixing. Add more if the dough is sticky. Lastly fold in raisins and mix to spread them evenly.
- Sprinkle a working surface with flour. Transfer the dough on it and kneed couple of times. It should be soft and fluffy. Divide it into 12 balls and form the patties. Dust each patty with a little bit of flour.
- Heat enough coconut oil in a large non-sticking pan over medium heat. Fry pancakes for few minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Serve with vegan sour cream.
To make vegan sour cream blend soaked cashews with water, apple cider vinegar and pinch of salt in a high speed blender until smooth.
- Olivye – Ukrainian Potato Salad
Ingredients for Olivye (potato salad):
- 1 pound of ham
- 3 medium potatoes
- 4 medium carrots.
- 1 (15 oz) can sweet peas, drained or 2 cups of thawed frozen peas
- 5 boiled eggs
- 5 medium-large pickles (I use Vlasic)
- 1/3 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup mayo (to taste)
- Salt and Pepper (to taste)
How to Make Olivye Potato Salad:
- In the same pot, boil whole unpeeled potatoes and carrots for about 30 minutes, or until knife pierces them smoothly. Don’t let them get too soft.
- In a separate pot put eggs in salted cold water. Bring to a boil, turn it off and leave it on the same burner with the lid on for 15 minutes (Remember this; it’s how to make the perfect hard-boiled eggs!!) Cool them down in cold water.
- Remove the vegetables and eggs from boiling water and allow them to cool to room temperature prior to chopping. Skin the boiled potatoes and carrots with a small knife. It’s easier to skin the carrots if you make a slit down the length of the carrot and skin in a circle around the carrot. (One of the readers suggested alternative method for cooking carrots and potatoes. She said to try dicing raw carrots and potatoes then boiling them together about 12 min in unsalted water. Rinse with cold water and drain well on paper towels. Easy and consistent results!)
- Chop ham, potatoes, carrots, pickles and eggs into equal size dice (pea size). The Vidalia Chop Wizard is the secret to quick potato salad!
- Mix together potatoes, carrots, pickles, eggs, green onion, dill and mayo. Add more mayo, Salt and pepper to taste.
- Fold in the peas last so they aren’t crushed.
Mouth-watering isn’t it? Ukraine has a wide variety of dishes that are perfect for those on a plant-based diet. So what dish are you going to try first? Bon Appetit!