Asian Appetisers with a Russian Touch

PHOTO by Sergey Leontiev /
Prawns in Kimchi sauce, cod liver with wasabi sauce and other Asian delicacies

Dmitry Pogorelov entered the Moscow State University of Food Production after graduating from culinary school and started working for the Russian holding company Restaurant Syndicate when he was still a student.

His career began in the Moscow restaurant Oblomov, and after spending several years as a sous-chef at Zolotoy Restaurant he became the head chef of Zolotoy and of another two Syndicate establishments: the Italian eatery Gianni and the Asian fusion restaurant Yumi. Later, Pogorelov moved to St. Petersburg, where he became the head chef of Zhirnaya Utka, which specialises in duck dishes, before finally returning to Moscow to work as a chef at Zotov’s Madame Wong, which serves modern Chinese cuisine.

The appetisers described below are not on the menu at Madame Wong. Dmitry created them for Yumi by fusing Chinese and Korean techniques, sauces and ingredients with typical Russian ingredients like cod liver, cranberries and condensed milk.

Prawns in Kimchi Sauce

Before cooking, Southeast Asian chefs usually soak prawns in water with baking soda (about two tablespoons per kilogram of prawns) and stir vigorously to make the prawns more crispy.

Kimchi paste is used to make the popular Korean appetiser of the same name, as well as marinades and sauces. The paste contains about three dozen ingredients: from pickled cabbage and pepper to tangerines and apples.

The composition of furikake, a Japanese dry seasoning for rice, is no less intriguing. Its key components are ground dried fish, finely chopped dried seaweed and sesame seeds. Furikake also includes miso, tuna shreds and shiso (a plant of the mint family with nettle-like leaves).

Prawns in Kimchi Sauce

Serves 5

peeled prawns500 g
egg yolks3
starch70 g
cooking oil1 l
mayonnaise520 g
sake26 ml
condensed milk160 g
sugar60 g
lime juice30 ml
tobanjan sauce17 g
kimchi paste90 g
gelatine4 g
kimchi cabbage150 g
furikake5 g
green tobiko roe15 g
chopped coriander leaves10 g
radish10 g
Preparation30 minutes

To make the kimchi sauce, mix the mayonnaise, condensed milk, sake, sugar, lime juice, tobanjan sauce and kimchi paste, then mix with a blender until homogeneous. Set with gelatine.


Coat prawns in egg yolks, then in starch. Deep fry in oil.


Mix the fried prawns with sauce and kimchi cabbage.


Put the prawns onto the plates, then add coriander leaves, finely sliced radish and tobiko roe. Sprinkle with furikake.

Cod Liver With Wasabi Sauce

The wasabi sauce used in this recipe is typically used to make wasabi shrimp in Moscow restaurants. The ingredients include 650 grams of mayonnaise, 32 ml of sake, 32 grams of wasabi paste (made from wasabi powder), half a tin of condensed milk, 75 grams of sugar and lime juice. Mix the ingredients with a blender until homogeneous and set with five grams of gelatine.

The rice chips and vegetables provide the contrast with the soft texture of the cod liver.

Cod Liver With Wasabi Sauce

Serves 4

tinned cod liver460 g
dashi stock670 ml
miso paste50 g
soy sauce40 ml
sake1 tbsp
gelatine10 g
rice paper40 g
apple40 g
seaweeds4 g
celery8 g
radish8 g
cooking oil½ l
Preparation40 minutes + 1 day

For the marinade, mix the dashi stock, miso paste, one tablespoon of soy sauce and sake.


Drain the cod liver from its oil and place the liver in the marinade for 24 hours.


Remove the liver, divide it into four portions and place them in food rings (seven cm in diameter). Sieve and heat the liquid, add ten grams of gelatine and 25 ml of soy sauce. Pour the liver in the rings with the marinade so that it covers all the empty spaces. Place the remaining marinade with gelatine into a wide dish in a thin layer.


Cut the rice paper into squares of your preferred size and fry them in cooking oil.


Finely dice the apples, finely slice the radishes and cut the celery into thin shreds, then place the vegetables in ice-cold water. Leave the coloured seaweed to soak in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Cut the marinade jelly into thin strips.


Place the cod liver terrine on plates. Add the wasabi sauce. Decorate with rice chips, slices of apple and radish, celery, seaweed and strips of jelly (15 grams of jelly per portion).

Edamame With Bean Cream

This appetiser must be eaten in one bite together with the nori waffle shell.

Dashi stock, one of the staple ingredients of Japanese cuisine, is simple to prepare at home. To make it, Dmitry boils kombu seaweed for about 15 minutes, removes the stock from the fire, adds tuna shreds, then leaves the stock to rest under the lid for 20 minutes. Feel free to vary the proportions to taste.

Edamame With Bean Cream

Serves 10

nori shells10
rice biscuits20 g
edamame beans300 g
garlic50 g
shallots40 g
vegetable oil20 ml
tinned jalapeño pepper7 g
dashi stock50 ml
soy sauceto taste
starch0.1 g
Preparation25 minutes

Boil the edamame beans for five to seven minutes until cooked. Peel one-sixth of the beans.


Finely chop garlic and shallots and fry lightly in one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the jalapeño and 30 ml of dashi stock to the beans in pods and mix in a blender. Mix in the remaining vegetable oil.


For the sauce, add a dash of soy sauce to one tablespoon of dashi stock, then add a pinch of starch to make the sauce thicker.


Break the rice biscuits into pieces and place them in the nori waffle shells (both products are available from shops selling Asian food). The biscuits provide the required texture and prevent the waffle shells from getting soggy from the cream.


Place the cream over the biscuits and put the peeled beans on top and add a little sauce. Crush some crispy beans with chili pepper (this snack can also be found in shops selling Japanese and Chinese food) with a rolling pin and sprinkle on top.

Chicken Wings With Salted Mango

This recipe uses deboned chicken wings, which can be eaten with chopsticks.

Chicken Wings With Walted Mango

Serves 5

chicken wings700 g
starch100 g
egg yolks5
panko breadcrumbs150 g
cooking oil1.5 l
mango425 g
chicken stock400 ml
soy sauce100 ml
lime juice27 ml
garlic40 g
red chili pepper10 g
fish sauce22.5 ml
smoked Tabasco sause5 ml
olive oil½ tbsp
shallots25 g
pineapple60 g
honey25 g
green chili pepper4 g
candied ginger2 g
red wine vinegar30 g
elderberry syrup25 ml
sesame oil50 ml
chopped coriander leaves10 g
cranberry jam25 g
fleur de selto taste
Preparation1 hour + 3 hours

Mix the stock (at room temperature), soy sauce, 20 ml of fish sauce, tabasco, 20 ml of lime juice and finely chopped garlic and red chili peppers.


Place the chicken wings in the marinade and leave them there for a couple of hours. Next, place the wings into a heat-proof dish, cover them with the marinade, put the lid on and leave them in the oven at 180°C (356 °F) for 30 minutes until cooked. Remove from the oven, place them on the work surface and let them cool before removing the bones.


To make the sauce, mix the olive oil, chopped shallots, pineapple, honey, candied ginger, green chili, wine vinegar, elderberry syrup, cranberry jam, 1.5 teaspoons of lime juice, half a teaspoon of fish sauce and 75 grams of mango in a blender. (Fresh mangoes can be replaced with mango puree, which is sold frozen.)


Coat the wings in starch, then in egg yolks and panko breadcrumbs, then deep fry.


Cut 350 grams of mango into shreds, season with salt, then add finely sliced chili pepper and coriander leaves. Mix and let it sit for about three minutes.


Serve the wings with the sauce and salted mangoes.

Pork Ribs in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Dmitry recommends serving this appetiser with a very light garnish such as celery shreds.

Chu Hou paste originates from China and is packed with umami, or fermented soy beans. It also includes ginger and garlic, apart from several less important ingredients. It tastes like hoisin sauce but is more pungent.

Pork Ribs in Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

Serves 6

pork ribs1.5 kg
hoisin sauce240 g
chu hou paste50 g
rice vinegar220 ml
brown sugar245 g
garlic60 g
sesame paste60 g
dark soy sauce40 ml
tobanjan sauce25 g
kimchi paste50 g
saltto taste
sugar62 g
ketchup125 g
lemon juice15 g
ginger10 g
cranberry jam70 g
celery60 g
radish30 g
corn flakes5 g
Preparation1 hour 10 minutes + 3 hours

For the marinade, mix hoisin, Chu Hou, tobanjan, kimchi paste, sesame paste, 50 ml of rice vinegar, 120 grams of brown sugar, finely chopped garlic and soy sauce. Season with salt.


Place the pork ribs into the marinade and leave them there for a couple of hours. Then put the ribs into a heat-proof dish, cover them with the marinade and cook them in the oven at 180°C (356°F) for 30 to 40 minutes. Let them cool, then carefully remove bones and cool to room temperature for another hour. Cut into portions.


For the sauce, mix 170 ml of rice vinegar and 125 grams of brown sugar in a saucepan. Add white sugar, ketchup, lemon juice, finely chopped ginger, cranberry jam and half a litre of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for half an hour until the mixture thickens slightly. Beat with a blender in such a way that cranberry chunks are still visible.


Place pieces of the ribs into the frying pan, add the sauce and glaze lightly.


Serve with shredded celery and finely sliced radish. Sprinkle with crushed cornflakes.

Author: Ksenia Shustrova