Pierogi is a traditional dish not only in the Polish cuisine, but also in Lithuania (kolduny), Georgia (khinkali), Russia (pelmeni) and Ukraine (varenyky). Probably, you know the Italian ravioli or tortellini, but do you know that dumplings are also quite popular in China and Japan? They are called wonton, guo tie or jiaozi, but instead of the traditional stuffing they contain different kinds of seafood.
Almost every foreigner knows the word pierogi, so today I will tell you about the different types of this traditional dish.
- Pierogi with meat – In the standard version, they contain cooked mixed beef-pork stuffing and chopped onions. It is interesting that their counterparts in the Russian cuisine – pelmeni or in the Lithuanian cuisine – kolduny are always filled with raw meat.
- Pierogi with cabbage and mushrooms – It is basically a Christmas version, because during the traditional Christmas Eve no meat is allowed. These ear-shaped dumplings are often served with a beetroot soup called borscht, that is why Poles call the dish barszcz z uszkami, which means borscht with small ears.
- Pierogi with cottage cheese – Or, just with cheese, as they say in many regions of Poland. Usually they are served with cream or sugar, and even with some fruit jam, so they become a perfect sweet dessert.
- Pierogi with fruits – They give a lot of possibilities, because they can be filled with any seasonal fruits such as strawberries, plums or cherries. Dumplings with all kinds of berries (blueberries, raspberries, elderberries) are very popular too.
- Pierogi with potatoes – They are filled with a delicate mashed potatoes cream, which may also be mixed with cottage cheese. They reach the perfect flavour when they are fried with finely chopped onions just after cooking.
- Pierogi with buckwheat – Even though they have been put on the list of Polish traditional dishes only since 2007, they are very popular in the northern Polish region called Kashubia. There are many recipes to prepare them, but one thing connects them – onions, obligatorily fried on lard.
- Pierogi with lentils – They are especially well known in eastern Poland. Due to their vegetarian nature, they occur more and more often on the Christmas tables. In the modern version, they can be stuffed with green lentils, onions, garlic and sweet peppers.
- Pierogi with mint – These dumplings come from the local cuisine of the small eastern region of Poland called Lubelszczyzna. In their stuffing composition, they are not that different from the popular dumplings with cheese and potatoes, but the fresh mint could either be put inside or just served on the plate.
I hope that was enough to awaken your taste buds so you already want to go to Poland and try all of these delicacies. And do not be afraid, there are many many more. Some Polish restaurants offer more than 100 different kinds of dumplings!
If you prepare them at home, do not forget to cook them before serving 🙂 Just 5 minutes in boiling water. Bon Appetit!