Chebureki are traditional Russian comfort foods. Each savory, meaty turnover is brimming with traditional Russian flavors. Delicious and simple to prepare!
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Chebureki is a savory cosmopolitan pastry that is an excellent breakfast option. The pastry is made by folding a round dough filled with minced meat and onions, usually mutton or beef.
Before being fried, the sealed dough is folded into the shape of a half-moon. It is not uncommon to find this delicious pastry sold as street food in Slavic countries such as Romania and Russia.
WHAT ARE CHEBUREKI?
Chebureki is a traditional Slavic pastry with origins in both Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The turnover is deep-fried or pan-fried and filled with a savory blend of ground meat, onions, and simple seasonings.
Despite the fact that Crimean Tatars pioneered turnover, it can be found in many restaurants and street markets throughout Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and beyond.
Here’s a rundown of the flavor, texture, and time required to make our simplified version of this snack.
- Flavor: The earthy, slight sweetness of the tortilla complements the rich and savory filling of spiced chicken and beef.
- Chebureki has a crispy pan-fried tortilla that is sandwiched around a tender filling of ground meat and crunchy onions.
- Time: From preparation to serving, these chebureki take just under 40 minutes.
WHAT MAKES A PROPER CHEBUREKI?
It will be difficult not to eat the entire batch in one sitting, and you will want to, but you must be strong! The outside of a proper cheburek (eурек) should be perfectly crispy, almost flaky, while the filling inside should be juicy and packed with onion.
My parents are the only people who know how to make cheburek, and I grew up eating them. My parents decided last week to help the youth at our church raise funds for a party by making and selling delicious chebureki after church.
I believe they made 350 of them, and the chebureki were gone within a half-hour of the church closing. Many people did not even get a chance to try them because they were sold out before everyone had a chance to buy them.
But I’m not surprised; these are so good that I’m surprised they didn’t sell out sooner! What is there not to love about a chebureki?
They’re crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and have a juicy middle meat center. Mmm..mmmm.mm!!
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Alternative Video Recipe: How to Make Russian Chebureki?
HOW TO MAKE THE CHEBUREKI RECIPE EXTRA FAST?
I have a great secret tip that will help you make this chebureki recipe in no time: pre-made raw wheat flour tortillas! If you have raw (or even cooked) flour tortillas on hand, you can make this in under 15 minutes—what I call a quick lunch/dinner!
You may be wondering why on earth you would use Mexican flour tortilla dough to make Russian chebureki.
It just so happens that chebureki dough and flour tortilla dough are made with the same exact dough ingredients, with the exception of tortillas containing a small amount of baking soda.
HOW TO MAKE CHEBUREKI?
Making our version of chebureki requires only 7 ingredients that you most likely already have on hand, as well as some quick prep. Before you get started, here’s a high-level overview of the recipe.
- To make the filling, combine the ground meat, salt, pepper, egg, and chopped onion in a large mixing bowl.
- To make the Chebureki, spread a few tablespoons of filling on one side of the raw flour tortillas. Fold the tortillas over and pinch the sides together with a fork.
- To make the Chebureki, heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Fry the chebureki until golden brown on both sides. Then, drain the excess oil by placing the fried chebureki on a large plate lined with paper towels. Enjoy!
- Begin by combining your flour and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Then add the hot water (it should be almost boiling) and mix until coarse crumbs form. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and egg, then gradually whisk into the flour mixture.
- I’ve also included a tablespoon of vodka in the ingredients list, but it’s entirely optional! When frying the dough, the vodka ensures a super crispy crust while also assisting the chebureki in developing more of their signature bubbles. I always add it if we have vodka on hand, but it doesn’t really affect the overall flavor, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to get some just for this recipe.
- When the dough starts to form, turn it out onto the counter and knead it until it is smooth and elastic. This could take anywhere between five and ten minutes. Simply set aside the dough for 30 minutes while you prepare the beef filling!
STORING AND FREEZING CHEBUREKI
Whether you have a couple of leftover chebureki to store in the fridge or a batch to freeze for later, here are our top storage and freezing tips.
- Refrigerator: Store leftover chebureki in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. This will keep them from becoming soggy as quickly.
- Chebureki are best frozen before cooking and can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. To keep the dumplings from sticking together, wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in a sealable plastic bag or layer them between parchment paper in a freezer-safe container. Place them in the fridge for a couple of hours to thaw before frying according to the recipe instructions.
TOP TIPS FOR THE BEST CHEBUREKI
Here you’ll find a collection of our best chebureki tips.
- Make use of lean ground meat. To avoid your dumplings becoming overly oily and soggy, use lean ground meat (90 percent lean or more).
- If possible, choose raw tortillas over cooked tortillas. When pan-fried, raw tortillas produce the best texture. It’s fine to use precooked tortillas in a pinch.
- Include some fresh herbs. Add some fresh parsley or cilantro to your filling for a hint of earthiness.
- Experiment with various ground meats. For the filling, you can use any combination of ground beef, lamb, chicken, pork, or turkey. Experiment with various combinations until you find one you like!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make these in the air fryer?
Yes, the air fryer would crisp up the chebureki without the need for additional oil. Just make sure to coat the tray thoroughly with cooking spray to prevent the tortilla from sticking.
Can you bake them instead?
It is not recommended to bake the chebureki because they will not become as crispy. If you do, make sure to flip them halfway through cooking time and generously coat them with oil.
Do you need to cook the meat filling first?
The meat filling does not need to be cooked before assembling the dumplings. Simply spread a thin enough layer of the filling to ensure that it fully cooks during pan-frying.
What is Chebureki in English?
Chebureki are deep-fried turnovers filled with ground or minced meat and onions. It is made with a single round piece of dough folded in a crescent shape over the filling.
More alternative Chebureki recipes for you to try:
Georgian Chebureki Recipe
Chebureki are a traditional Crimean, Caucasus, and Turkic street snack that is popular throughout Russia and the former Soviet Union. Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and so simple to create, this is an authentic recipe!
Vegetarian Chebureki Recipe
Chebureki are savory turnovers or a less doughy form of calzones that are particularly popular in Eastern Europe. Using raw tortillas instead of creating your own dough saves your prep time in half! The filling is produced in a single pan — it couldn’t be simpler! These are unquestionably a crowd pleaser.
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