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Russia

A Dish from Russia:

"Borscht"

This time, in "Cuisine of the World," we explain how to make the Russian dish of "Borscht." We visited the Russian restaurant "Roppongi Baikaru" with Tsuyoshi Tsunehara and his wife, who were previously stationed in Khabarovsk and then in Moscow for Marubeni.

Mr. Tsunehara spent 4 years in Khabarovsk from 1993 onward and 3 years in Moscow from 2002 onward. As for his second posting in Russia, he recalls how Moscow "was in the midst of dramatic economic growth: several new shopping centers were being built in the suburbs, and even though the prices were sometimes high, there was nothing you could not get hold of." Compared to his stationing in Khabarovsk, where power cuts or water cuts had been a matter of daily life, the living environment in Moscow was good, and lots of other Japanese people were living there as well as the Tsuneharas. One of their most unforgettable memories includes going river rafting and fishing with friends, followed by experiencing the exceptional flavor of the Ukha (clear fish soup) that they dynamically made on the spot from the fish they had caught.

Moreover, Mrs. Tsunehara often used to go on trips with other friends from Japanese residents' groups to outlying towns to buy Gzel pottery (a style of pottery which has a 700 year-long history and is characterized by its cobalt blue designs on a white background). She then used to enjoy making and serving Russian cuisine on the pottery dishes she had collected.

One characteristic of Russian cuisine is the rich variety of soups. One of those which the Tsuneharas had numerous opportunities to savor was Borscht. According to Tania, who works at the Baikaru restaurant in Roppongi, "Each Russian family has their own distinct recipe for Borscht, each with their own flavor, and it is a dish that we eat several times a week." Mrs. Tsunehara says that she still makes it in Japan now.

How to Make "Borscht": Serves 4

Ingredients

*This recipe has been arranged so that it is possible to make it in a family home environment.

Beef (boned)160g
Cabbage80g
Onion130g
Carrot110g
Tomato50g
Red bell pepper50g
Red turnip160g
Potatoes2
Sour cream, mayonnaise, parsley and welsh onionas required
Salt, black pepper and sugaras required.
How to Make
  • 1

    Step 1: Put the beef into 2 liters of water, and add salt, black pepper and sugar as required. After it has been left to simmer for approx. 20 minutes, remove and cut into bite-sized pieces.

  • 2

    Step 2: Add the potatoes that have been diced into 2-3cm pieces, the cabbage that has been shredded, the red bell pepper that has been cut into fine strips, and the parsley that has been cut up small to the meat soup and leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes.

    Chef's Tip:

    It is also possible to use consommé soup here, but using the soup from the meat will create a more authentic flavor.

  • 3

    Step 3: Cut the carrots, onions, red turnip and tomato up small, and fry them over a medium flame for approx. 30 minutes, adding black pepper to season.

    Chef's Tip:

    When stir frying the vegetables, a richer flavor can be achieved by adding some butter.

  • 4

    Step 4: Put the vegetables which were stir-fried in Step 3 into the meat soup from Step 2, and heat over a high flame for 2 minutes before leaving to simmer over a low flame for about 5 minutes.

    Chef's Tip:

    A more powerful aroma can be achieved by adding garlic if preferred.

  • 5

    Step 5: Put the beef that was removed in Step 1 back into the soup from Step 4, and after dishing up, garnish with sour cream or mayonnaise, as preferred, and complete by adding color with parsley and welsh onion.

Cooperating Restaurant

Baikaru Russian restaurant, Roppongi
RB building 3F, Roppongi 4-12-7, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel
03-5770-7742
By public transport
1 min. walk from Roppongi Station on the Toei Oedo Line or 3 min. walk from Roppongi Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
Opening hours
17:00 to 05:00 (Open 365 days a year).

From: “Shareholder’s guide Marubeni,” Vol.104 (published in June 2008)

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