Ruthenian dumplings

(VOVWORLD) - The “Polish Gastronomy Week” will take place in Hanoi until Friday with winner of Master Chef Poland 2018, Ola Nguyen showcasing popular dishes from the central European country. Ruthenian dumpling is a highlight in her menu.

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Master Chef Poland 2018 Ola Nguyen. (Photo: Master Chef Poland 2018’s Organizing Board)

Chi: VOV24/7’s Food Delight is back with recipes and cooking tips. I’m …., your host. With “Polish Gastronomy Week” taking place at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel, we have sat down with Ola Nguyen, the Vietnamese-Polish winner of the Master Chef in Poland contest.  Hi, Ola.

Nguyen: My name is Ola Nguyen. I’m Polish and I’m Vietnamese. I moved to Poland when I was 7 and now I’m 22. I won the Master Chef last year when I was 21.

Chi: On this trip to Vietnam, Ola Nguyen will introduce Polish traditional favorites as well as Polish typical agricultural products. Ola, what have you brought to Vietnam this time?

Nguyen: There are smoked sausages, mustard, and a lot of pickled vegetables. We love pickling because in Poland, the winter is long, so pickling is very nice to preserve. Pickling which is marinated is a good way to preserve.

Chi: A highlight of Ola Nguyen’s menu is Ruthenian Dumplings with Caramelized and Pickled Onion – also called “pierogi ruskie”.

Nguyen: So we have dumpling. In Poland, we call it the Russian dumpling. It has nothing to do with Russia. Some regions of Poland belonged to Russia in the past. That’s why they call it “Russian”. They’re called Russian dumplings but they’re totally Polish. They are made from sour cream and potatoes, which are the main ingredients in Poland. We love potatoes. We love cream and dairy products.

Chi: We also have this kind of dumpling in Vietnam, but the filling is quite different, with minced pork as the main ingredient. I wonder if this is similar to Polish dumplings. Let Ola Nguyen tell us the recipe.

Nguyen: We love dumplings because dumpling is a comfort food. It’s very easy. To make the dumpling, you first make the dough. The dough is made from water, butter and flour. The dough is very easy, as I said before. You just need to boil the water. Then, add some butter. Warm water with butter. The warm water and butter you mix with some wet flour, add salt. You can add a little egg to make it softer and make a dough. You wrap it with plastic film, and let it rest for a few minutes.

Chi: In Vietnam, I can buy ready-made dough, then just prepare the filling and boil the dumpling. I’m not always successful with making the dough. What is the key to make it successfully?

Nguyen: You have to let the dough rest. If you don’t let the dough rest, the dough will be very tough. If you eat the dough, it will be very chewy. It will not melt in your mouth. 

Chi: No wonder.

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Ruthenian Dumplings. (Photo:

Nguyen: And the filling is from mashed potatoes with white cheese. If you don’t have white cheese, you can use sour cream, or yogurt if you have it. It’s important to have some fried onion like caramelized onion to add sweetness to the dumpling. For the filling, just mix the mashed potatoes. We always boil them. Mash the potatoes with white cheese, then add caramelized onion, some pepper and salt, and that’s it. You put the filling in the dough.

Chi: Following Ola Nguyen’s instructions, we have finished the 2 major parts of the dumpling: the dough and the filling. It’s time to shape the dumpling. Spread the dough on a flat surface. Use a cutter to cut circles and put a portion of the filling in the middle of each circle. Fold the dough in half and seal the edges together. To keep the dough from being too sticky, sprinkle some flour on the surface. Now, boil them until they are cooked.

Nguyen: You can eat “pierogi ruskie” with some butter, some sour cream, some dill. You can add anything you want to.

Chi: These potato and cheese dumplings are commonly served at Christmas and perfect on winter days.

We recommend that you try other Polish dishes, such as Cold Beet Soup, Pork Cutlets with Selesian Dumplings in Red Fruit and Rosemary Sauce, and Apple Pie – all being prepared by Ola Nguyen during “Polish Gastronomy Week” at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. Good bye!