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Russian, Eastern European and international cuisine brought to you by a mother and a daughter

Russian Blini with Beef or Mushrooms

Russian Blini (Pancakes)

Blini, or pancakes, are an essential feature of Russian cuisine. Served with melted butter, sour cream, berry jam, honey, or the most luxurious option - caviar, they are made and eaten in gigantic batches during the Maslenitsa week that precedes the Lent. But they are as well eaten all year round – sweet or savoury toppings and fillings change with the seasons. For me, Blini symbolize all the warmth and coziness of home, and I love to cook some pancakes filled with cottage cheese and vanilla for a late Sunday breakfast as a sort of morning meditation.

This time, Mom made Blini with two different fillings: beef and chanterelles. I didn’t take part in making these, so I’ll just write about her method. But be warned: this is quite a time-consuming recipe, as you have to boil the rice, and fry the mushrooms, and of course cook the pancakes. Making pancakes in two skillets at a time is a nice idea therefore.

Let me also remind you that every cook has their own recipe for pancakes. So we’re not calling this recipe anything like “True Russian Blini”, “The One and Only Recipe for Russian Blini” or anything like that – this is just one of dozens of possible options.

Please note that the recipe suggests a choice between beef and chanterelle filling for 12 pancakes, meaning you will need to make 24 pancakes to try both fillings. The more pancakes you make however, the easier it is to calculate the right amount of filling, especially rice. Alternatively, you might use some leftover boiled rice from another meal.

Russian Blini with filling



- For pancakes:
1 egg
220ml water
220g all-purpose wheat flour
250g whole milk
½ tsp salt
Vegetable oil

Makes 12 pancakes

- For beef filling:
350g beef mince
70g white rice (that yields about ½ cup cooked rice)
1 medium-sized onion
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil

- For mushroom filling:
1 litre chanterelles
50g white rice
1 small onion
Fresh herbs, optionally
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil


Preparing the beef filling:
Boil the rice according to instructions on the package, seasoning with salt.

In a skillet, heat some vegetable oil and sauté beef mince until cooked through. Don’t forget to season with salt.

In a separate small skillet, fry the onion, finely chopped.

When all ingredients have cooked, stir them together.

Preparing the mushroom filling:
Boil the rice according to instructions on the package, seasoning with salt.

Wash and chop the chanterelles and sauté them in vegetable oil until golden-brown and pretty dry – you will see that a great amount of water evaporates as the mushrooms cook. Don’t forget to season with salt. You might also want to add some fresh herbs such as finely chopped parsley leaves, but this is entirely optional.

In a separate small skillet, fry the onion, finely chopped.

When all ingredients have cooked, stir them together.

Preparing the pancakes:
Pour water into flour and stir properly, then beat with a fork until all lumps disappear. Stir in the egg, salt, and milk, and beat the batter a little bit more until thin and smooth.

Pre-heat a medium-sized skillet and cook each pancake on both sides until light-golden, allowing not less than a teaspoon of vegetable oil for each pancake. As you cook the pancakes one by one over a medium heat, you will easily figure out how much oil you need each time – just enough to keep them golden and glossy. Use about ¼ cup batter to make a 20cm pancake.

Making pancakes

Make sure you pre-heat the skillet properly when you start – this will prevent the first pancake from melting, sticking, or whatever else can happen to pancake batter being cooked too slowly. Although a famous Russian proverb says that the first pancake is always lumpy!

Once you have a nice pile of beautiful, thin and crispy Blini, put a full tablespoon of filling on each of them and fold them in your favourite manner.

A pile of pancakes

Pancake with chanterelle filling

Lightly brown the folded Blini before serving. The traditional way is to serve them with sour cream!

Blini with beef filling

Blini with mushroom filling

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19 Responses

  1. Absolutely beautifully done thanks for posting sounds wonderful!

  2. Alina says:

    Thanks a lot Pegasuslegend!! ^_^

  3. Beautiful post! I love pancakes/blinis.

  4. I absolutely love using blini for caviar. I only have it a couple of times a year and have always purchased pre made blini where I buy the caviar. But now I can make my own! You and your mom have the best recipes and such a change from what we are accustomed to. Thanks for sharing another delightful recipe!

  5. These pancakes look delicious. I usually stuff mine with fruit, powdered sugar and cinnamon. I love the idea of beef and mushroom filling. Thanks for the idea!


  6. Alina says:

    French Kissed, I love caviar too, haven’t had any for a looong while though! Yes, you should try to make your own blini - you’ll love the warm flavour and glossy texture!

  7. Alina says:

    Camberley, thank you - I like pancakes with sweet fruit filling too! I’ve recently made some with mashed banana and honey! Should have added some cinnamon as well!

    • Tharee says:

      Those are all good suggestions. Ice cream also works rhaetr well.And Jay as a rule, we eat less pancakes in the UK. It’s not a regular breakfast thing. Actually making proper British pancakes is something that I only do once a year, on Pancake day. American style, and Scotch style pancakes get made a bit more often. It all depends if I get up in time on a Sunday to smile sweetly at Moose to get her to make me a few extra

    • Great insight. Relieved I’m on the same side as you.

    • Mirry says:

      I know another guy in this world that does the same kinda thgnis to me could they be related??? I bet their Dad must have done stuff like that. for example, when asked to help ready the house for a bridal shower, he washed the dog and cleaned the garage. Like we are hosting the shower in the garge and eating off the dog??? I bet there are some other wives that have to same difficulties in the world .Can you think of any???loveyou .S

    • Wonderful explanation of facts available here.

    • Simay says:

      That sounds just like a Tim cmneomt! LORDY, we really need to help that guy! Well, now you have plenty of bacon for BLTs and you don’t have to make it!!!!! That is funny! You should buy Tim that quick bacon, the kind you just microwave! Then it is so quick that HE can make it next time!

    • , with a big smile on his face, to this lady who sat beside him, “This is my baby sister, Carrie Kolhok from Selawik.” Oh, how I felt that day, I can’t explain! I miss him so much, but with God’s Grace we will all make it through, one day at a time. To my sister Grace and to all my nephew’s and nieces, I love you. Together we will get through this hard time .Taikuu,Carrie

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