Okroshka Day is celebrated in Russia on May 30. But, by the way, there are close relatives of this refreshing soup in many national cuisines. Cold borscht in Lithuania, tarator in Bulgaria, gazpacho in Spain. So, if the family recipe of Russian okroshka has already bothered you, you can get interesting ideas from the gastronomy of other countries. Or even invent something exotic, not forgetting, of course, the traditional rules.
In 2022, okroshka, alas, became more expensive: cooking a favorite summer dish for a family of four will cost the Russians 382 rubles, experts have calculated. This is 17% more than a year ago. Ամեն The most standard collection of products was chosen for the calculations: potatoes, fresh cucumbers, eggs, cooked sausage և kvass. Making “at least okroshka” does not seem to mean neither radish, nor green onion, nor possible replacement of sausage with natural meat, and moreover, experiments with stuffing.
A few years ago the eternal debate about okroshka – to cook it with kefir or kvass? – has become a popular Internet meme, so now even those who, in principle, do not use okroshka, know about these two options. At the same time, kvass is considered the most “correct” classic version, and kefir is inferior for those who for some reason do not drink kvass. Both options are useful. Even the specialists of Rospotrebnadzor remind about this.
“Natural fermented kvass is a useful product, it contains essential amino acids, vitamins and a rich set of minerals. Natural fermented drink helps to restore the intestinal microflora, strengthens the immune system. If purchased kvass is used, it is recommended to buy natural fermented kvass (unrefined և not specified, indicating the sugar content in the last place). “Kefir is a fermented dairy product that contains probiotics that promote microflora, healthy intestinal motility, strengthen the immune system, help reduce weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels,” reads the memo published on the official website of the department. . , says.
There are other, more lavish ways of filling okroshka. Whatever you choose, you need to prepare it properly. What are some ideas?
Kvas. For okroshka it is customary to choose a special unsweetened kvass (there is a mark on the bottles), which combines well with other ingredients. Many Russians prefer to make their own kvass at home, it is not so difficult.
Kefir. It is best to choose a low fat, one percent. If the kefir is too thick, it is better to dilute it with carbonated mineral water.
Airan (buttermilk). Fermented milk drink, which is popular in hot countries, can be a great compromise. It is more acidic than kefir, but still mild on the stomach.
Sour cream or mayonnaise. Sour cream or mayonnaise with diluted carbonated mineral water is an “extraordinary” filling for Okroshka. However, gourmets admit that the taste of such a dish significantly loses, և it is better not to resort to this method without undue reason.
Tomato juice. This, of course, is no longer a classic, but the idea may appeal to those who are tired of the usual okroshka taste or have probably missed the cold Spanish gazpacho soup. You can add spicy spices or sauce to the tomato juice (for example, ajika or a few drops of Tabasco). By the way, the ideal way to give a gift is to use fresh chopped tomatoes instead of bag juice.
Light beer or prosciutto. An extravagant option if the kids are definitely not eating okroshka and the adults want to increase the level of fun a bit. Just keep in mind that alcohol stuffing requires a more careful approach to other ingredients, for example, with such a recipe it is better to replace the doctor’s sausage with smoked chicken, to give up potatoes altogether.
Regardless of which kernel you plan to use, it must be cooled properly: okroshka is a summer soup, it is expected to be cool. Some gourmets even like to add ice cubes (or crushed ice), but not everyone likes this solution. You can add spices in advance (for example, mix the spicy sauce with tomato juice), but it is better to serve the mustard, salt and pepper separately, everyone will put as much on the plate as they want. Some people like to put a slice of lemon in the okroshka.
By the way, there is a very delicate version of the filling – ordinary carbonated mineral water, spiced with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar. This option is preferred by those who do not want to interrupt the taste of fresh vegetables, or who want to make a very light vegetable okroshka.
The obligatory component of summer okroshka is fresh herbs, there is a little trick that will make the dish more fragrant and delicious. Instead of just pouring chopped dill and green onions on plates (parsley is not required, but mint can be added), you need to grind them in a mortar and add salt together. Divide the resulting mixture into plates so that the taste of greens will shine much brighter, no additional spices are required.
Another great trick to make a delicious meal is to make sure that all the ingredients for okroshka, such as potatoes, eggs, cucumbers, radishes and sausages, are at the same (room) temperature. Trying to cut freshly boiled և still steamed potatoes quickly is a bad idea. The contrast of temperature will spoil the taste of the whole okroshka. Therefore, before cooking, be sure to let the eggs and potatoes freeze, on the contrary, remove the sausage և vegetables from the refrigerator beforehand. But the core can just (should) be much colder than the other ingredients.
Because the popularity of the vegetarian diet is now gaining momentum (well, the doctor’s sausage is considered a priori harmful). You can try making a vegetarian’s “very light” version of okroshka, inspired by a Bulgarian soup tartar, a close relative. To do this, you need a cucumber, radish և grate a small amount of potatoes with a coarse grater, add fresh herbs լց fill the resulting mass with kefir, adding a few drops of lemon juice. Sprinkle the prepared okroshka with crushed walnuts. Such a meat-free dish will help perfectly in the summer heat when it finally comes.