In Russian cuisine sour cream was used everywhere – to soften the dishes, reduce the heat and add moisture. Sour cream is added to hot and cold soups, meat, and only in Russia, to fish dishes.
Despite the fact that often fish recipes with sour cream need frying, such method of preparation should probably be called braising or baking. By the way, frying, as such, is not very typical forthe Russian cuisine. It was used only as an element of cooking certain dishes. The same goes for fish. It was only slightly browned in vegetable oil, and then coated with sour cream and baked in the oven. When roasting or braising in sour cream sauce, fish will become juicy, fragrant and rich.
Perch and Carp
To prepare fish in sour cream in Russia most often perch or carp were used. Carp was used mostly in central Russia, but perch was used all over Russia, because it wasfound in all bodies of water in large numbers. Russia is a country of rivers. Along them cities and villages were built, they were used for transportation and communication, they were the main suppliers of freshwater fish to Russian tables. That is why Russians are so fond of fish and know how to cook it well. For frying they used small fish, the size of a man’s palm.
Recipe of Perch in Sour Cream
The most common method to prepare fish in sour cream sauce is presented by a chef and historian William Pohlebkin in his writings about the Russian cuisine. For one kilogram of perch you take a couple of onions, a little oil, a cup and a half of sour cream and two tablespoons of flour. Fish is cleaned, salted, dusted with flour and fried in a hot pan with the onions.It is fried until golden brown. Then you place the fish in an ovenproof dish, coat it with sour cream and stew in the oven or stove, loosely covered with a lid. Cooking time depends on the temperature. But in general – not more than half an hour.
Perch is served with sour cream to the table directly in the dish in which it was stewed, covered with a beautiful golden crust.
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