Cabbage Piroshki (пирожки) are one of the many classic Russian meals I remember from my childhood. A staple in every Russian/Ukrainian household and across Eastern Europe. There are so many different ways to fill them, this is one of my favorite braised cabbage piroshki recipes.
Piroshki (sometimes spelled pirozhki) means small pies which are stuffed with meat, cabbage, potatoes, mushrooms...etc. This is a fried dough recipe, but you can also make a healthier Baked Piroshki. I also love my Fried Beef Piroshki with an easy dough that's made in a bread maker.
Cabbage Piroshki Filling
I don't often eat vegetarian piroshki, but there is something about the braised cabbage that reminds me of my babushka's house. Maybe I'm just getting nostalgic in my old age. My babushka's filling was a bit more sour, as she used homemade fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) mixed with braised cabbage. I'm happy with this easy braised cabbage version, with lots of butter!
This is a very versatile cabbage filling, we often make it to eat as a side dish our dinner. I also make a tasty Russian Cabbage Pie with Puff Pastry using this filling. My secret to the cabbage filling is using a Russian ketchup that I buy at my local Russian store. I love the spices, tang and flavors it gives, but regular Heinz Ketchup works as well. You just need a squeeze, so little that you don't really taste it, but it's in the flavor profile.
How to make Piroshki
When I make piroshki, I often use a bread maker because it's easy! But there is something about making your own yeast dough recipe from scratch. I suppose there is a satisfaction I find in kneading the dough. If you want the easy bread maker dough recipe, check out my Beef and Potato Piroshki recipe. All the fillings are interchangeable.
I think this is an easy recipe, small circle shaped dough, filled and stuffed with cabbage or filling of your choice, then shallow fried in oil. That's the gist of making homemade piroshki, a Russian comfort street food. After filling the dough circles, be careful not to allow the filling to tough the edges, or the seam might come apart. Pinch the sides of the dough together, sealing the cabbage inside.
When you are frying the piroshki, drop the pinched side down into the oil first, fry for a few minutes and flip. That's how easy it is! Any leftover braised cabbage filling can be served as a side dish with dinner.
How to make Piroshki Dough
It's important to use lukewarm milk, which is around 100°F/38°C. Too cold and the yeast won't activate, and too hot it will kill the yeast. When you mix the flour and yeast mixture together, it's always messy at first. As you keep mixing and kneading, it will come together nicely into a dough ball. This recipe will make between 16-24 piroshki. Just depends on how big you like them.
There isn't an exact size for the right pirozhok (a single form of piroshki), so this recipe is very forgiving. The main thing is that it needs to be small enough to be hand held, that's why it's sometimes called a hand pie. It needs to fit into your hand.
The Piroshki braised cabbage filling can be made in advance, and is so easy to prepare. But I usually just make it when the dough is proofing. Any cabbage you don't use is a perfect side dish, there will be leftovers. Can Piroshki be frozen? Of course, I just put them into a Ziploc bag and throw them into the freezer. Defrost before serving with homemade sour cream or even with Russian ketchup (my secret ingredient).
Braised Cabbage Piroshki are a tasty Russian meat pie, or hand pie. Perfect for a snack, served alongside your borscht, or as a meal by itself! Baked or Fried, you're gonna love these! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 ⅓ cups milk lukewarm
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried yeast
- 4 cups /500g flour
- 3 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 egg
- oil for frying Piroshki
Piroshki Cabbage Filling
- 1 small head of cabbage shredded
- 1 carrot grated
- 2 medium onions diced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- salt and pepper to taste
Yeast Dough Made From Scratch
- Place yeast, sugar, salt, and ½ of the lukewarm milk in a bowl. Whisk together and mix in 2 tablespoons of flour. Allow to site for 15 minutes until it starts to bubble and foam, then the yeast is activated.
- In a larger bowl, add the flour, egg and melted butter. Pour in the yeast and mix it all together until it forms a dough ball. Knead on a floured surface for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place back into bowl, cover loosely with cling wrap and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm place until it rises, about 1 ½ hours.
Butter Braised Cabbage
- Fry the diced onions and grated carrots in 2 tablespoons of butter until caramelized (for about 5-6 minutes).
- Add the shredded cabbage and another tablespoon of butter. Cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes on low heat. If the cabbage is old and not fresh, add 3-4 tablespoons of water to make it more juicier. Stir in 1 tablespoon of ketchup, and stew for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
- When the dough is ready, carefully place onto a very lightly floured surface. Don't overwork the dough, it needs to be soft. Cut the dough ball into equal pieces. To make at least 16 piroshki, cut the dough ball into equal quarters. Gently roll each piece into a log, and cut each piece into 4 or 5 equal parts. Cover pieces you aren’t working on with cling wrap so they don’t dry out.
- Using a rolling pin, gently roll each dough ball into the shape of an oval (about 4 inches across). Place about 2 tablespoons of braised cabbage in the middle of the dough piece. Pinch the dough together in the middle, pinching a seal all around. Don’t allow the filling to touch the edges or the seal will come apart. Flatten the pinches edges.
- Heat a skillet with about 1″ of oil until hot. Gently place about 4-6 piroshki into the oil (pinched side down) and cook until they’re golden brown. Flip over and cook other side.
- Remove onto a plate lined with paper towels and serve immediately.