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Baked piroshki stuffed with meat, mushroom, rice and onions
Alternative namesPiroshki, pirazhki, pyrizhky, piroška, perishki
CourseAppetizer, main, dessert
Place of originRussia[1][2][3][4][5]
Associated cuisineArmenian, Azerbaijani, Belarusian, Estonian, Finnish, Iranian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Latvian, Macedonian, Mennonite, Mongolian, Mordovian, Pontic Greek, Russian, Serbian, Tajik, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Uzbek
Serving temperatureWarm or hot
Main ingredientsYeast dough, various fillings

Pirozhki[a] (Russian: пирожки́, romanized: pirožkí, IPA: [pʲɪrɐʂˈkʲi]) are Eastern European baked or fried yeast-leavened boat-shaped buns with a variety of fillings.[6][7][8] Pirozhki are a popular street food and comfort food in Eastern Europe.[1]


The stress in pirozhki is on the last syllable: [pʲɪrɐʂˈkʲi]. Pirozhok[b] (Russian: пирожо́к, romanized: pirožók, IPA: [pʲɪrɐˈʐok] , singular) is the diminutive form of Russian pirog, which means a full-sized pie.[c] Pirozhki are not to be confused with the Polish pierogi (a cognate term), which are called varenyky or pyrohy in Ukrainian and Doukhoborese, and vareniki in 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 tvorog.[9]

Baked pirozhki may be glazed with egg to produce golden color. They may also be decorated with strips of dough.

Pirozhki are usually hand-sized. A smaller version may be served with soups.

Regional varieties[edit]

Puff pastry pirozhki

The Americas[edit]

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.

The Balkans[edit]

The Greek variety piroski (Greek: πιροσκί)[10][11] is popular in parts of Greece, in particular in Northern Greece, as brought by Pontic Greeks, and in most big cities, where they are sold, most in the past time but also less still today, as a type of fast food in specialty shops called Piroski shops, selling piroski exclusively.[12][13] The Greek piroskia come fried with many different stuffings,[14] such as Greek feta cheese or Greek kasseri cheese or minced meat or mashed potato or mix of feta cheese and ham or other filling.

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.

The Baltics[edit]

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.[15] 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 (and Finns) too have this tradition. The pirukad or saiakesed are fairly small in size and have regional variations in respect to fillings. They are usually made with puff pastry. Open pies covering the scale of whole baking tray are also popular, more similar to American pies. Many recipes exist, with meat, cabbage, carrots, rice, egg and other fillings and filling mixtures also being used. Sweet fillings are as popular as savory pirukad with fillings like apple, various berries, marzipan, various spices and jam.

South Caucasus[edit]

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 usually made with jam, mashed potatoes, or ground beef.

Central Asia[edit]

Pirozhki are common as fast food on the streets of the Central Asian countries in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, where they were introduced by the Russians. They are also made by many Russians and non-Russians at home.


The Finnish version is the similar lihapiirakka, a popular street food made with donut dough, minced meat and rice.


Iranian homemade pirashki and chips

The Iranian version, pirashki (Persian: پیراشکی pirāški), is often consumed as a appetizer or as a street food. It is commonly filled with pastry cream, but potato and meat fillings are also available.


The dish was introduced to Japan by White Russian refugees who sought shelter there after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. A localized 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.


Pirozhki is also very common as fast food in Mongolia, and it is made throughout the country by families at home.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Also transliterated as piroshki
  2. ^ Also transliterated as piroshok
  3. ^ The full-sized pie can also be called by the diminutive name for purely stylistic reasons.


  1. ^ a b Goldstein, Darra (1999). A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality. Russian Information Service. p. 54. ISBN 9781880100424.
  2. ^ London, Bonne Rae (1990). Hi-Tech Jewish Cooking: Recipes for the Microwave, Processor, Blender and Crock Pot (1st ed.). S.P.I. Books. p. 107. ISBN 9780944007822.
  3. ^ "Traditional Russian Pies: History and Recipe". Express to Russia.
  4. ^ Lintott, Amanda (27 November 2002). "Hors d'oeuvres: The latest trends to hit the snack market". Just Food.
  5. ^ "About Piroshki". ifood.tv.
  6. ^ "piroshki". Oxford Living Dictionaries. Archived from the original on 1 September 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  7. ^ "pirozhok". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. March 2022. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  8. ^ Grimes, William, ed. (1 September 2004). Eating Your Words: 2000 Words to Tease Your Taste Buds (1st ed.). Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195174069.
  9. ^ "Pirozhki". Feed Me London. Retrieved 28 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Piroski from Pontus" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 6 June 2023.
  11. ^ "Piroski with minced meat step by step" (in Greek). Archived from the original on 29 September 2023.
  12. ^ "Where to eat good cheese pies and piroskoi in Piraeus, Greece" (in Greek). LiFO. 6 November 2022. Archived from the original on 30 September 2023.
  13. ^ "«Piroski» in the renovated Modiano Market in Thessaloniki" (in Greek). Makedonia. 8 May 2023. Archived from the original on 11 May 2023.
  14. ^ "Piroski". 7 February 2017. Archived from the original on 2 June 2023. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  15. ^ Gross, Daina. "That wonderful scent from the kitchen". Latvians Online. Archived from the original on 28 June 2008.


  • Piroshki or Pirozhki in Larousse Gastronomique, The New American Edition (Jenifer Harvey Lang, ed.), Crown Publishers, New York (1988), p. 809.
  • Piroghi or Pirozhki in Larouse Gastronomique, first English language edition (Nina Froud and Charlotte Turgeon, eds.), Paul Hamlyn, London (1961), p. 740-741.
  • Pirog in The Oxford Companion to Food (Alan Davidson), Oxford University Press (1999), p.p. 609-610.
  • Speķa rauši in "Latviska un Moderna Virtuve" (The Latvian and Modern Kitchen), Fischbach D.P. Camp, Germany, 1949; pg. 24, original in Latvian and translated into English