The biggest football event of the year is almost upon us, and Russia is set to play host to this ultimate international football competition. With hearts and minds set to be glued to this spectacle, it’s an opportune time to explore how you can add a Russian twist to your favourite local snacks, and draw in the football crowd.
Salted Herring Ikan Bakar
A traditional Russian favourite is salted or pickled herring, usually served as an appetiser or mixed in as part of shuba, a layered salad of grated boiled vegetables, chopped onions, and mayonnaise. Typically, the herring is salted, then mixed in a sweet-sour solution, but you can take it a step further by lightly grilling it ikan bakar style. Serve with a chilli dip on the side for a flavourful blend of both worlds.
Shashlik Satay with Peanut Sauce
Shashlik is a popular form of shish kebab meat skewer in Russia, prepared by marinating the meat overnight in vinegar, herbs, spices and yoghurt or sour cream. While lamb is traditionally used, beef and chicken are also good options. You can combine the meat with vegetables on a skewer, or experiment by adding different local herbs and spices to the marinade. For extra novelty, pair it up with a helping of satay peanut sauce.
Russian Dim Sum Dumplings
Russian dumplings, known as pelmeni when fried or manti when steamed, consist of minced meat fillings wrapped in dough. Similar in style and shape to dim sum, it’s a perfect base to introduce Malaysian-style fillings using a blend of locally-sourced seafood, meat or vegetables. To further please the palate, a side of spicy or tangy dipping sauce is a must.
Russian mini-pies or piroshki come in different shapes, sizes and fillings, from sweet, savoury to even sour. Made using yeast-leavened dough, you can add anything you desire inside this soft and fluffy bread. A perfect starting point would be the spicy, savoury potatoes or sardines you find in curry puffs. You could also try other local favourites such as sambal ikan bilis, red bean, and sweet potatoes to name a few.
Honey Kek Lapis
The honey cake or medovik is a multi-layered cake of flat biscuits glazed with honey and a creamy caramel filling. It’s a classic Russian dessert that has spawned many modern interpretations around the world. A Malaysian version could incorporate local fruits such as durian, bananas and ciku. Taking inspiration from the Malaysian version of layer cake, you could also create a honey cake in the form of kek lapis.
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