Uszka in borscht is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve! These small ear-shaped Polish mushroom dumplings are the perfect way to start a Christmas dinner!
What Is Uszka?
Uszka literally means ‘little ears’. These pierogi stuffed with mushrooms are a Christmas food that Poles usually make once a year to serve with borscht at Wigila – the official Christmas Eve Dinner. In fact, they’re the first out of the twelve dishes served!
These Polish mushroom dumplings are similar to the varenky or pierogi made in many parts of Eastern Europe, and are usually served with soup.
For Christmas Eve, they have to be stuffed with mushrooms. At other times of the year, they can be filled with minced meat.
How Are Uszka Prepared?
Uszka are usually made using a mini pierogies recipe. The flour is rolled really fine to about 2 mm thickness.
Cut circles from the dough and place the filling on each circle. Fold the circle over and then pinch the edges together to form an ear shape. And that’s it! Little ears of mushroom uszka made so easily.
The uszka are then dropped into boiling water and allowed to cook for about 30 to 45 seconds. When these mushroom dumplings rise to the top, they’re ready to serve!
These uszka were made even more easily using this dumpling-making tool. Click on the image for more purchasing info!
If you have many things to do for Christmas Eve and can’t find the time to prepare the uszka on the same day, you can prepare them 2 to 3 days earlier.
Just stuff the uszkas with the mushroom filling and line them on floured trays. Put these trays in the freezer till you’re ready to use them. You can put the frozen uszka straight in the boiling water on Christmas Eve.
How To Serve Uszka?
Uszka are traditionally served in red borscht or Christmas mushroom soup. Some people add it to rosol soup as well. You can also serve them simply topped with melted butter! If you’re not a fan of borscht, you can serve uszka with sorrel soup too!
For Christmas, there must be either three or five uszka in each dish. It’s also traditional to hide 1 grosz (small coin) inside one of the dumplings. The person who finds the coin will have money throughout the upcoming year.
Leftover uszka can be fried with butter and eaten the next day!
Tips For Making Polish Mushroom Dumplings
- You can add minced garlic to the mushroom filling to enhance the flavor.
- The uszka can be in any shape, just make sure each dumpling is sealed right.
- Dust a large table or tray with flour and use it to keep the prepared uszka till you cook them.
- These dumplings can also be added to clear soup or beetroot borscht soup.
- Get this tool to make the uszka perfectly, we always use it.
- Stir the uszka dumplings while boiling so that they don’t stick to the bottom.
- For those who don’t like mushrooms, make this cabbage pierogi.
Important Questions About This Polish Uszka Recipe
How To Pronounce Uszka?
Uszka is pronounced oosh-kah. It means “little ears”.
Which Mushrooms Should I Use To Make Uszka?
Uszka are usually made with wild mushrooms – dried or fresh. You can use porcini, cremini or button mushrooms.
Can I Use Fresh Mushrooms Instead?
Yes, you can use fresh mushrooms if you want to. Just remember not to soak them overnight.
Which Flour Should I Use To Make Uszka?
Use all-purpose flour or pasta flour to make the uszka.
Where Can I Purchase The Tool To Make These Polish Uszka Recipe?
You can purchase the uszka making tool on Amazon. Just click on the image below.
Is It Possible To Make Mini Pierogies Recipe Gluten-Free?
Yes, to make the mushroom uszka gluten-free simply replace the flour with gluten-free flour.
How To Store Uszka?
If you want to store uszka, it’s important to store them before cooking. Prepare the dough into round circles, add the mushroom filling and form the ear shapes. Set these mushroom uszka on a floured tray and refrigerate them overnight. Once frozen, move the uszka to airtight boxes and store till you need them. These uszka can be stored for 3 months.
What To Do With Leftover Uszka?
You can make this delicious Polish tortellini salad!
Dough for Polish uszka
- 1 egg
- 5 cups (600g) of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of warm water
- 2 pinches of salt
- 4-5 tbsps of oil
Filling for Polish Uszka
- 10 oz (300g) of dried mushrooms
- 3 big onions
- 3 tbsps of breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs
- butter to fry
- salt, pepper
How To Make Polish Uszka Dough?
- Put flour, egg, oil, and salt into the bowl. Whisk it together with a hand or dough hook attachment.
- Start adding the water slowly, letting it incorporate before adding more.
- Whisk until all the ingredients are incorporated and there are no lumps.
How To Make Polish Uszka Filling?
- Cover the mushrooms with water and leave to soak overnight.
- The next day, finely chop the mushrooms and cook slowly for 1,5-2h.
- In the meantime, peel and finely chop the onions. Fry the onions with butter and add the cooked mushrooms.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the eggs and breadcrumbs. Mix and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool.
How To Mold Polish Uszka?
- Divide the dough into 2 or 3 pieces.
- Thinly roll each piece out onto a floured surface to just under 1/16 - 1/8” thickness.
- Use a shot glass to cut the small circles from the dough. Alternatively, if you want to make it faster, use an uszka molder like this.
- Put the filling in the center of each circle.
- Pull the edges of each circle together to form uszka. Pinch tightly. Note: Make sure the seal is continuous and intact. You can't leave any free space, or the uszka will fall apart during the cooking. Don't let the filling get between the dough when sealing, otherwise uszka may fall apart during the cooking.
- Collect the remaining dough scraps and put them to the other 2 dough pieces. Repeat the process until the entire filling and dough are used.
How To Cook Polish Uszka?
- Pour the water into the big pot. Add 2 pinches of salt. Boil.
- Gently throw uszka, one by one into the boiling water.
- When they start floating, wait for a minute and take them out with the slotted spoon.
- Let them dry on the flat surface. They can't touch each other, otherwise, they may stick together.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 110mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g
These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix
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