|Alternative names||Piroshki, pyrizhky|
|Course||Appetizer, main, dessert|
|Place of origin||Russia|
|Serving temperature||Warm or hot|
|Main ingredients||Yeast dough, various fillings|
Pirozhki (Russian: пирожки, plural form of pirozhok; Ukrainian: пиріжки, pyrizhky) are Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian baked or fried yeast-leavened boat-shaped buns with a variety of fillings. Pirozhki are a popular street food and comfort food in Russia and a stereotypical part of Russian culture.
The stress in pirozhki is on the last syllable: [pʲɪrɐʂˈkʲi]. Pirozhok (пирожок (help·info), singular) is the diminutive form of Russian pirog, which means a full-sized pie. Pirozhki are not to be confused with the pierogi (a cognate term), which are called varenyky in Ukrainian and Russian.
A typical pirozhok is boat- or rarely crescent-shaped, made of yeast-leavened dough, with filling completely enclosed. Similar Russian pastries (pirogs) of other shapes include coulibiac, kalitka, rasstegai, and vatrushka.
Pirozhki are either fried or baked. They come in sweet or savory varieties. Common savory fillings include ground meat, mashed potato, mushrooms, boiled egg with scallions, or cabbage. Typical sweet fillings are fruit (apple, cherry, apricot, lemon), jam, or quark.
Baked pirozhki may be glazed with egg to produce golden color. Also they may be decorated with strips of dough.
Pirozhki are usually hand-sized. A smaller version may be served with soups.
The Greek variety piroski (Greek: πιροσκί) is popular in parts of Greece influenced by eastern cuisine and in most big cities, where they are sold as a type of fast food. The Greek piroskia come deep-fried with many different stuffings.
In Serbia the local variety are cylindrical pastries called пирошка/piroška (piroshka). They are stuffed with fillings such as ground spiced meat mix of pork and veal or cottage cheese, and with kulen, tomato sauce and herbs. Alternatively they are made from breaded crepes with variety of fillings.
In Latvia crescent-shaped buns of leavened dough called speķrauši (literally, "fatback tarts") or speķa pīrāgi (often referred to in diminutive speķa pīrādziņi or colloquially simply pīrāgi or pīrādziņi) are traditionally filled with smoked fatback and onion. Other fillings are also possible. However the name pīrāgi is not exclusive to these buns, but can refer to variety of other pastries, such as pies and turnovers. Pīrāgi were often eaten as lunch by farmers and shepherds working the fields.
Estonians too have this tradition. The pirukad are fairly small in size and have regional variations in respect to fillings. Pirukad are sometimes accompanied by bouillon. Many recipes exist, with meat, cabbage, carrots, rice, egg and other fillings and filling mixtures also being used. The Latvian bacon and onion version is known to Estonians, but is not as common. One can also encounter sweet fillings, although savory pirukad predominate.
Pirozhki are common as fast food on the streets of the Central Asian countries in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, where they were introduced by the Russians. They are also made by many Russians and non-Russians at home.
Pirozhki is also very common as fast food in Mongolia, and it is made throughout the country by families at home.
The Russian variant of pirozhki is a common fast food in Armenia and Azerbaijan. In Armenia it often contains a potato or seasoned meat filling. In Azerbaijan, it is often eaten as a dessert and is commonly filled with cream.
The Iranian version, pirashki (Persian: پیراشکی pirāški), is often eaten as a dessert or as a street food. It is commonly filled with cream, but potato and meat fillings are also available. The Iranian sweet shops in Los Angeles have invented other versions such as chocolate and blueberries.
A Japanese version, called ピロシキ (piroshiki), are predominantly fried, use fillings such as ground meat, boiled egg, bean noodles, and spring onion, and are commonly breaded with panko before frying, in the manner of Japanese menchi-katsu. Another popular variation is filled with Japanese curry and is quite similar to karē-pan, which is itself said to be inspired by pirozhki.
Varieties of pirozhki were brought to the Americas by Volga Germans. Known today as bierock, pirok or runza, they belong to several regional cuisines in the United States, Canada and Argentina. The populous Russian diaspora which came to the Americas as a consequence of the Russian Revolution and Civil War brought with them the more classic Russian versions of piroshki.