The national soup, which has also been adopted by other Slavic cultures, borshch is based on a beet and mixed vegetable or meat broth that comes in dozens of varieties. Borshch is commonly served with sour cream and rolls. A green borshch made with sorrel is a favorite during the warmer months.
Varenyky are small boiled dumplings made with rolled dough and various fillings: from potato and mushrooms, meat, cabbage, cheese to cherries. You’ll find them at traditional restaurants, served with sour cream on the side. They are so versatile that they can be eaten either as a main dish or a dessert, depending on the filling. In the Poltava region, halushky are a type of varenyk made with a thicker dough.
Translated as “little doves,” holubtsi are cabbage rolls stuffed with seasoned rice and meat or buckwheat. The dish is usually topped with a tomato-based sauce.
Known to the English-speaking world as Chicken Kiev, kotleta po-Kyivsky is a chunk of boneless chicken stuffed with butter, then seasoned, floured, and deep-fried.
Kasha is basically a grain-based cereal. The most common kind is hrechana kasha, a buckwheat porridge, seasoned and eaten as a side dish or as a stuffing.
Khleeb is the Ukrainian word for bread. Sweet breads and rolls (bulochky) are steeped with honey and are often associated with holidays or ceremonies. Babka is a sweet egg bread popular during Easter, but available all year. Kalach is similar to babka, but denser and braided into a circular shape. Paska is the official Easter bread, usually decorated and shaped into a cross. Korovay is a tall, cylindrical traditional wedding bread. Pampushki can be fresh rolls soaked in crushed garlic and oil, or a sort of sweet jam or fruit-filled baked roll. Makivnik is a sweet poppy-seed bread flavored with honey and molasses, popular around Christmas. Khrusty are deep-fried strips of sweet dough coated with sugar, and medivnyk is a honey cake that can keep for days without going stale.
Served as a main dish or appetizer, mlyntsi (nalysnyky) are thin pancakes (crepes) served with a variety of sweet and savory fillings, such as meat, mushrooms, cheese, caviar, poppy seeds, apples and cinnamon.
Deruny are potato pancakes that are sometimes prepared using meat or mushrooms and are served with a side of sour cream.
Pyrizhky are appetizer-sized pies with sweet or savory fillings.