Taste of Russia

Suffering for soup: The secret of authentic ‘ukha’ - Taste of Russia Ep.3

Glen learns all about one of Russia’s most ancient dishes, a fish soup called ukha, a popular delicacy dating back to the 16th-17th centuries that can still be found in many Russian restaurants.

To make ukha fit for a tsar, it’s essential to use freshly caught sterlet. The problem is it’s winter, so Oscar takes Glen ice fishing. After catching a magnificent fish, the pair takes refuge from the freezing cold in the warmth of a welcoming home. It happens to belong to Oscar’s relative Sasha, who promises to reveal the key to making authentic ukha.

Tsar Ukha recipe
Tsar Ukha recipe

First, they prepare the broth in a cauldron over a fire. While it’s simmering, Oscar takes Glen for his first taste of a real Russian sauna, or banya. This involves getting whacked with birch branches in a steam room and plunging into an ice-cold pool. After that ordeal, Glen begins to feel a little like a cooked fish himself as he lounges outside in a cauldron-like bath heated on an open fire.

Returning relaxed and refreshed, the final touches are put to the soup, which include a couple of rather surprising ingredients. Will the joy of the taste justify the pain of the cold and the three hours of preparation?

Taste of Russia, Episode 3 reveals all!