At Bear, a homey Eastern European restaurant in Astoria, Queens, chef Natasha Pogrebinsky serves a pelmeni stew she calls "Siberian Express," adding marinated mushrooms, brined cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, scallions, and a soft-boiled egg all to color up the dish's otherwise beige landscape. But her customers call it something else: Russian Ramen. This chicken-and-dumpling soup also takes advantage of two ingredients more common in Asia than Eastern Europe—sesame oil and cilantro—for a simple but rewarding soup that probes the boundaries of what we think of as Russian cuisine.
Featured in: The Russian Chicken Soup with an Eye on Japan
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
- 3 large eggs
- 2 lb. chicken thighs (about 4)
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped dill, plus more to garnish
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp. ground caraway
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 soft-boiled eggs, halved, to garnish
- Cilantro leaves, to garnish
- Thinly sliced scallions, to garnish
- Toasted sesame oil, to garnish
In a medium bowl, mix the flour with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and, using your fingers, stir in 2 eggs and 1⁄4 cup water. Scrape the dough onto a work surface and knead until smooth. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
In a 4-qt saucepan, combine the chicken thighs with the onion, garlic, and bay leaf, and cover with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, skimming any foam that rises to the surface, until the broth is reduced and the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Pour the broth through a fine strainer and discard the solids.
Meanwhile, beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and pour 2 tablespoons into a medium bowl; discarding the rest of the egg. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the ground chicken, dill, parsley, caraway, and coriander and stir to combine. Refrigerate the filling until ready to use.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into an 18-inch circle, about 1⁄8-inch thick. Using a 2 1⁄2-inch cutter, cut out 32 circles, re-rolling scraps as needed. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each circle of dough, brush the edges with water, and fold in half to form a half moon, sealing the edges. Take the two points of each half moon and bring them together to form a tortelli-like dumpling.
In a large pot of generously salted water, cook the dumplings until they float to the surface and are cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the dumplings from the water and transfer to 4 serving bowls. Ladle the broth over the dumplings and top each with more chopped dill, half a soft-boiled egg, cilantro leaves, scallions, and a drizzle of sesame oil before serving.