Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

March 30, 2017

© Tracy Kusiewicz

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Salmon-filled rasstegai

These open pirogies are generally served as a side with soup

Rasstegai are savoury boat-shaped pirogi with an elegant opening on top, exposing the filling. Typically they are served as a side with soup.


Prep time: 2½ hours

Cooking time: 30 minutes


For the dough
2 tsp. (10 ml) yeast
1 c. (250 ml) milk or water at room temperature
2 tbsp. (30 ml) sugar
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
1 egg
2 c. (500 ml) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. (30 ml) butter or vegetable oil


For the filling
2 onions, diced
¼ c. (60 ml) butter or vegetable oil
½ lb. (250 g) salmon fillets, boiled and diced
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
1 tsp. (5 ml) black pepper
1 c. (250 ml) fish broth


For the glaze
1 egg white, beaten
3 tbsp. (45 ml) melted butter


In a deep bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk; add sugar, salt and egg, and mix well. Gradually add flour and butter, and knead the dough until it stops sticking to fingers. Cover dough with a clean tea towel and put in a warm place to let rise for 1 hour. Then, knead it again to let the gas bubbles escape, cover with the tea towel and let rise for another 30 to 40 minutes.

Sauté the diced onions in butter until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Add diced salmon fillets, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Sauté until the salmon is seared on all sides.

Divide the dough into 10 small portions, rolling each into ½-inch (1-cm) thick rounds, approximately the size of a saucer. Place about 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) filling in the middle of each dough round. Bring the edges together and seal (leave a 3/4-inch/2 cm) opening in the middle) making the rasstegai boat shape.

Place rasstegai on a well-greased baking sheet and let them rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Glaze with beaten egg white and bake in preheated 400°F (200°C) oven for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven, glaze with melted butter and pour 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) fish broth into each of the openings. Serve hot. Makes 10 servings.

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