Ukrainian Cuisine

varenyky – вареники

Varenyky are small boiled dumplings made with rolled dough and filled with a special type of potato and cheese or some other filling. Almost all restaurants serve them, usually with either cheese or meat, and almost always with sour cream or a buttery sauce. Pyrohy usually refers to larger baked, pie-like varenyky filled with the same kinds of ingredients. Smaller, appetizer-sized versions of pyrohy are called pyrizhky, which are either baked or fried.

borshch – борщ

The national soup, which has also been adopted by other Slavic cultures, borsch is based on a beet and mixed vegetable broth that comes in dozens of varieties. The most popular version is a clear broth, but sour cream is often added.

holubtsi – голубці

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.

kotleta po-kylvsky – котлета по-київськи

Known to the English-speaking world as Chicken Kiev, kotleta po-Kylvsky is a chunk of boneless chicken stuffed with butter, then seasoned, floured, and deep-fried.

kasha – каша

Kasha is basically a grain-based cereal. The most common kind is hrechana kasha, a buckwheat porridge, seasoned and eaten with a sauce as a side dish or as a stuffing.

khleeb (“bread”) – хліб

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.