We have chosen five traditional fish recipes from Russia to share with you today: from appetisers to main courses, from ukha to assorted fish solyanka and even the carp Matelote recipe cooked by Leo Tolstoy’s wife Sophia – there is a whole sea of opportunities out there!
Mixed Fish Solyanka
Russian fish solyanka soups are traditionally made of least two kinds of fish - one is usually fatty, the others leaner.
Olives, capers and lemon slices were not added to solyanka soups until the end of the 18th century, when it also became customary to gently fry the onions together with pickles before putting them into the soup. Tomatoes are an even more recent addition to solyanka recipes.
Fresh perch in the solyanka soup can be complemented with pike perch; light-salted salmon can be replaced by trout or sturgeon.
Ukha with Millet
Ukha is a Russian fish soup. Add vodka and herbs (dill or parsley) to the soup and serve immediately.
You can, of course, cook the soup without adding vodka, but as the saying goes “Ukha without vodka – well, it's just fish soup!”
Halibut Baked in Foil
Recipe by Christina Lorentsini from the Christian restaurant in Moscow.
Matelote of Carp
Matelote is fish braised in red wine; the name of the dish means "sailor-style" in French. The binding properties of the red wine prevent the fish from falling apart during braising. To make the sauce more mellow, use lighter types of red wine that are not too harsh; Pinot Noir is ideal.
This matelote was made in our kitchen by Elena Chekalova, following a recipe she had found in a cookery book compiled by Leo Tolstoy’s wife Sophia.
Cod with Cream of Celery
To make parsley oil, blanch and squeeze the parsley dry, then add an equal amount of extra virgin olive oil. Puree the parsley and oil in a blender and sieve through a cloth; collect the oil and discard the parsley.
Author: Olga Astakhova
Photos: Sergey Leontiev, Kamil Guliyev, Sergei Patsyuk