Today we travel to Eastern European nation of Ukraine that has been in the news a lot lately. Ukraine was part of USSR and hence the cuisine and culture is similar to that of Russia. Vushka (Voosh-kah) is popular in both Russian and Ukraine. Vushka is a mushroom and onion dumplings. Vushka means tiny ears and these dumpling look like an ear, hence the name.
Vushka is usually served with borscht, a beets soup that is of Ukrainian origin. It is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries including Russia. Vushka are very tiny in shape but mine were a little bigger in size. I used a short cut and used wonton wrappers instead of making the cover for the dumplings from scratch.
I love mushrooms and this recipe was in New York Times food section 3-4 years ago. I saved the recipe and never got to make it until couple of months ago, for this marathon. The covering for the dumpling is made from scratch but at the bottom of the recipe there was a note that wonton wrappers can also be used. I took the shortcut and used wonton wraps. The covering was not as soft as it looks in most of the online images of vushka and wished I had made the covering from scratch.
- 2 tbsp. Oil
- 1 small – medium Onion chopped or ½ - ¾ cup chopped Onions
- 1 ½ tsp. crushed Garlic
- 10 oz. Button Mushrooms chopped or 3 cups chopped Mushrooms
- ½ tsp. Salt
- ¼ - ½ tsp. Black Pepper Powder
- 14 Wanton Wrappers
- Chop mushrooms into small pieces. Crush garlic and keep aside and finely chop or mince the onion.
- Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions on medium heat until lightly brown.
- Add garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Add mushrooms and fry it until mushrooms shrink in size and all the juices/liquid evaporates. This would take about 7- 10 minutes. Halfway into cooking the mushrooms, when the liquid is almost evaporates, add salt & pepper. Once the liquid evaporates, remove from the heat, cool the filling and keep aside.
- In a saucepan or soup pot bring water to boil.
- Take a wonton wrapper and fill ¾ - 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Wet the edges of two sides and fold the wrapper into half, making a triangle. Press the edges to seal. Take the opposite two corners and pinch together to seal. Place in a plate and keep it covered until all the vushka are made.
- Add 1 tbsp. of salt to boiling water and gradually drop the vushka into water.
- Cook until vushka float on the top, 2-4 minutes. I let them cook for 2 ½ - 3 minutes. Vushka started floating as soon as I dropped them in water and was not sure how long to cook. I think 2 minutes would be an ideal time.
- Vushka is usually served with borscht but I served without soup.
- If vushka is not sealed properly, it won’t float in water after cooking. It is vital to seal the edges properly.
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