Summer might be ending, but if you know anything about Storrs, you'll know that the UConn Campus usually doesn't get the memo. Remember to bring a fan to keep cool for the first couple of weeks the semester - and to enjoy this cold, refreshing okroshka.

Oh wait, you probably don't know what okroshka is.

I'll be honest, the cuisine of Russia isn't too strange or interesting. They eat beets. They eat cabbage. They eat bread, buckwheat and potatoes. But they also live relatively long lives because, as it turns out, beets and cabbage are really good for you.

Anyway, the thought of Russia's weather typically conjures up the image of General Winter and all the poor frostbitten saps who thought the colder months would be a good time to invade the country. However, summer in Moscow can be pretty similar to summer here in New England, so Russian dishes, like soups, are often served cold in accordance with the season. One such soup is okroshka, the name of which comes from the Russian word meaning "to crumble." That's because it usually consists of finely chopped vegetables, eggs and meat in a chilled liquid, like kvass or kefir. I decided to just slice the egg in half, for presentation purposes. For best results, I would suggest chopping the egg up. 

Why, you ask, is this a noodle bowl? Because I found myself in possession of one of those vegetable noodle makers. If you don't have one, don't buy one, They're really only useful for zucchini and cucumbers. But, since cucumbers are sort of the star of this dish, it really did come in handy.  If you don't have one, just chop the cukes in. In that case, you'll have regular old okroshka.

Also, don't feel limited to the vegetables listed below. You can use carrots, celery, roasted or boiled beets and just about any other vegetable you might have on hand. 

Oh, and one last thing: If you have a health food shop in your area, you might see "beet kvass" being sold. That is not the kvass you want. Kvass made from malted rye, which can be purchased at some specialty stores, is a popular Eastern European soft drink with a very long history. It is the most well-known kind and is a legendary hangover cure (should that fact be, for whatever reason, of interest to my readers). Kombucha is also kvass, but made of tea. That should work for the recipe if it's not too sweet. Kefir is a kind of cultured milk, similar to yogurt. These are all good. Just don't use the beet kvass, which is primarily used for medicinal purposes and isn't too tasty.

#spoontip: Not sure where to get kvass? You can make your own!

Okroshka Noodle Bowl

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:20 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy


  • 1/4 cup cucumbers spiralized
  • 1/4 cup chopped radishes
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 hard boiled egg chopped
  • 1 or 2 small boiled potatoes chopped
  • 1/4 cup meat optional you may use any kind cubed sausage leftovers or cold cuts.
  • Enough kvass kefir or if you can't find either those light beer to fill the bowl
  • For garnish add chopped parsley dill and/or scallions. A few dill flowers can really add to the presentation.
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
bacon, egg
Eli Udler
  • Step 1

    Lay your cucumber noodles into the bowl

    tea, ale, beer
    Eli Udler
  • Step 2

    Add your other vegetables, eggs and meat (if using)

    Eli Udler
  • Step 3

    Top with sour cream and chopped herbs

    bacon, egg
    Eli Udler
  • Step 4

    Pour in your chilled liquid, then stir lightly to combine.

    vegetable, ham, pork, meat, egg
    Eli Udler