One of the main benefits of having a lot of Crimean Tatar family is very much the food. In fact, right after Carpathian dishes, Tatar food is my favorite Ukrainian regional cuisine. Well, it is about a month into Spring now, and that means ALL the spring chebureki I can eat. Unlike its meat filled counterpart, this vegetarian version is popular only in spring, when the green onions freshly shoot out of the ground.
While the regular version is more popular, think of spring chebureki as a more farmstyle dish. That’s because the two filling ingredients are things many rural Ukrainians naturally have at home. It isn’t uncommon to hear the sounds of chickens cluck-clucking away when walking around the city, and that means home-farm fresh eggs whenever I want them. Of course, now I live in an apartment in Lviv, so I really only get to enjoy babusya-made food when I go to visit.
If you ask someone their favorite Ukrainian food, they’ll probably just say the only one they know: borshch. However if you ask a Ukrainian it will almost always be a regional specialty, or something they grew up with. For example one of my favorite Carpathian specialties is called banush, which is basically corn grits with pork cracklings and cheese on top. It almost sounds American when written out like that.
Spring chebureki, or egg and onion chebureki is something I look forward to every year, and one of my favorite Ukrainian recipes to make. It is super easy to cook since the filling is just two ingredients plus some salt, and the dough crust is basically foolproof.
How To Make Spring Chebureki (Egg and Green Onion Filling)
Chebureki have some of the easiest dough crusts around. There are only three ingredients. Flour, oil, and a bit of water. It’s even easier than varenyky dough! You can do this in a stand mixer, or a bowl. Just don’t overmix. Add the flour and oil to a bowl and begin to mix. As the two ingredients begin to come together, slowly trickle in the cold water. You want something akin to a flaky pie crust, but much more rustic.
The dough for these chebureki should be quite dry and ‘papery’. If it is sticking to your fingers then you have used too much water so just add a bit more flour to dry it out.
As mentioned above, this springtime filling is super simple. Just chop up the boiled eggs and place them in a bowl. Then chop up some green onions and add those to the bowl. Give a sprinkling of salt and mix everything together. You don’t want to mash everything into a paste, but the yolks will naturally cream together and this is okay. Just stop when the mix looks like the photo above.
To fill the chebureki grab a piece of dough and roll it out into a circle (ish) shape. The size doesn’t actually matter, so you can go as large as you want. You will sometimes see a single cheburek the size of a dinner plate. For these I’m going for a size that holds about two tablespoons of filling.
Then simply fold over the dough like you would for an empanada or other filled turnover pastry and crimp it shut. The popular method here is to use the tines of a fork to seal it well. Make sure to flip it over and seal it on on both sides to prevent a blowout in the pan.
Place a pan on high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom. You can absolutely add more oil, but you need a minimum enough to coat the pan. Note: if you want to deep fry your spring chebureki you can do it at an oil temperature of 180C. Flip the chebureki when they are golden brown and fry on the other side, then remove to a plate while frying the rest.
How To Eat Chebureki?
The traditional way to eat a cheburek is with your hands! Just hold it like you would any culture’s hand pies like a cornish pasty and bite. If you are making one with a meat filling (mutton is popular in this household) then just be cautious that hot rendered fat can burn you!
- 1 Bowl
- 1 Pan
- 250 grams Flour
- 60 ml Neutral Oil You can use olive oil, but it will make the dough a different flavor than the standard. A commonly used oil is basic sunflower
- Water Start with a tablespoon and add a tablespoon at a time as you mix. I use around 4-5 tbsp of water, but depending on how your flour acts you might have to use less or even more.
- 6 Hard Boiled Eggs chopped
- 1 bunch Spring Onion I'd say I use about 8-10 long spring onions which ends up being around a half a cup of loosely packed chopped spring onion. But this is not a hard and fast measurement, use less, use more, it will be find. This is a home style rustic dish.
- 1 tsp Salt half for the dough and half for the filling
- In a bowl mix the flour, salt, and oil with your hands, then slowly trickle in some water as you continue to mix. When you have a flaky, yet homogenized dough (see pics above for reference) you can stop mixing.
- In a bowl mix together the chopped hard boiled eggs, chopped spring onion, and salt. You can use a spoon or fork or your hands. Just a rough mixture is all that is needed, you don't want a paste or puree.
- Grab a bit of dough and roll it out into a circular-ish shape. Size doesn't matter, you can make your chebureki as large or small as you want. Place some filling on half the dough then fold over the other half. Crimp it sealed with the tines of a fork and then flip and crimp the other side as well.
- Heat up a layer of oil in a pan and gently lay down the chebureki. Fry until golden brown, then flip and fry the other side. Remove to a plate and continue frying until they are all finished. Enjoy!