Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes)

Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes)

Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes) are delicious croquettes made with minced meat and buckwheat groats. So hearty and unique!

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Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes)

Hello everyone. I hope everyone is doing fine. After all, it’s April and spring. And, apparently, snow day in Nova Scotia :)

Over a month ago, when I posted this Beetroot Pine Nut Dip, I explained how I feel about this outrageous war that Russia started against Ukraine. I also said that I had been excited to dedicate 2022 to Russian and Ukrainian cuisines which of course share many similarities. Yeah, I had made and photographed quite a lot of dishes from both cuisines. But then February 24 happened. And worse, it’s not stopping.

So, it’s definitely not the right time for Russian recipes. And honestly, I am not sure if it’s going to be the right time in the foreseeable future. That’s why I switch my focus to Ukrainian cuisine that has so many tasty things to offer. While many of you have heard of Borscht or perogies, I bet not many of your are familiar with these Hrechaniks.

Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes)

Hrechaniks or Hrechanyky are basically croquettes (fritters or cutlets) made with ground meat and precooked buckwheat. The name comes from the Ukrainian and means “buckwheat”.

From my understanding, they can be meatless too, but most recipes call for meat of your choice. Poultry is a great lean option, and I used turkey here.

If you love like buckwheat groats, you will love this recipe, too. Thanks to buckwheat, Hrechaniks have that lovely earthy and slightly nutty taste. The flavours are quite simple. The basic recipe only calls for salt and pepper; however, I also added smoked paprika, chipotle, and dried herbs.) Perhaps not too authentic, but the croquettes turned perfect! Another addition was a little of semolina. My meat mixture was a little too wet to shape the croquettes, so that was a necessary step. If that’s not the case for you, skip the semolina.

The sauce is optional, but it gives so much more of flavour. Besides, the croquettes turn super tender and juicy. If you prefer to skip the sauce, you will need to finish cooking the cutlets in the oven, until fully cooked. I opted for a more traditional tomato sauce, but you can choose whatever you prefer. Sour cream or mushroom sauce would be great options.

Lastly, please note this is quite a large batch, around 18-20 Hrechaniks about 70-90 grams each. You can definitely cut the recipe in half. On the other hand, a large batch means you won’t need to thicnk about your lunches and dinners for a few days.

I hope you like these Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes), and you will try this recipe soon. If you try it, let me know in this post or send me an Instagram message or share you photos adding the hashtag #havocinthekitchen.

Cheers!

Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes)
Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes)

Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes)

Recipe by Ben | HavocinthekitchenCourse: MainCuisine: Ukrainian
Servings

18-20

Hrechaniks
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes) are delicious croquettes made with minced meat and buckwheat groats. So hearty and unique!

Ingredients

  • Hrechaniks:
  • 150 gr. buckwheat groats (A bit less than 1 cup)

  • 500 gr. ground turkey or other meat of your choice

  • 2 medium eggs

  • 1 medium onion, finely minced

  • salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 1-2 tbsp. semolina (optional) – not the authentic ingredient

  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (optional) – not the authentic ingredient

  • 1 tbsp., dried herbs like Italian seasoning (optional) – not the authentic ingredient

  • a pinch of chipotle powder (optional) – not the authentic ingredient

  • about 1/3 cup (or more) flour, for coating

  • 3-4 tbsp. oil for frying

  • Tomato Sauce:
  • 1-2 onions, minced
    1-3 garlic cloves, minced (optional)

  • 1 tbsp. oil

  • 400 ml. tomato sauce – traditional or with aromatic additions (Like herbs, garlic, etc.)

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

  • salt, pepper – if necessary

Directions

  • Cook the buckwheat in salted boiling water until done (I would recommend al dente stage.) Drain and cool.
  • In a large bowl combine the ground turkey with the onions.
  • Stir in the eggs and seasoning. Mix just until well combined, do not overmix. If the mixture is too “wet” and loose, you can add 1-2 tbsp. of semolina, to thicken it up, otherwise it could be challenging to shape Hrechaniks.
  • Stir in the cooked and drained buckwheat and mix to incorporate.
  • Shape the Hrechaniks. I used between 70 and 90 gr. of turkey mixture for one croquette which resulted in 18 to 20 croquettes. Do not make them too big, otherwise it can be challenging to flip them when cooking. The traditional shape is oval, but you can make a more convenient shape for you (For example, it would be easier to shape and cook “disks”.) Since the mixture is quite sticky, I would recommend rinsing your hands often or even apply some flour.
  • Roll the Hrechaniks in the flour.
  • In a large heavy-bottom pan heat the oil over high-medium heat. Arrange some croquettes (Do not overcrowd the pan) and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the golden crust. Using a spatula, delicately flip them and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with the remaining croquettes.
  • In the meantime, in a separate deep pan heat the oil over low-medium heat cook the onions and garlics (If using), for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce, water, and seasoning if using. Cook for few minutes to thicken up.
  • Return the precooked Hrechaniks onto the pan with the tomato sauce (If they don’t fit all, consider using a different pot, but they can seat pretty tightly for this step.)
  • Reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer the Hrechaniks for about 20-25 minutes. It’s okay if the sauce does not fully cover the Hrechaniks because the steam will do the job. But you can also add a little bit more of sauce or water.
  • Enjoy!

22 thoughts on “Hrechaniks (Ukrainian Buckwheat Croquettes)

  1. Eva Taylor says:

    The invasion is ridiculous and my understanding is that most Russians don’t condone it either! He is a madman. I’m just hoping it doesn’t go further, Hungary is not that far away.
    It is very respectful that you’ve decided to postpone Russian recipes. And I love that you’re focusing on Ukrainian recipes, this one looks delicious.

  2. Raymund says:

    They indeed look unique, never tried anything like that. Its like a cross between Italian Meatballs and the French Croquette, and that combination sounds like a really good idea. Great recipe Ben

  3. Marissa says:

    I love that you’re sharing Ukrainian recipes, Ben. These croquettes look wonderful and I love that they’re made with buckwheat (an underappreciated grain!). It’s absolutely heartbreaking to read about this horrifying war each day. Thank you for honoring Ukrainians in this way.

  4. Velva says:

    I would love these! It’s been a long time since I have enjoyed buckwheat. Its a beautiful Eastern European ( Ukraine) dish.
    Each morning I wake up and the first thing I check is on Ukraine. It’s unimaginable what’s happening.

    Velva

  5. David @ Spiced says:

    I love the idea of highlighting Ukrainian cuisine here, Ben! I’m not familiar with Hrechaniks, and I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with buckwheat. However these do sound delicious! I love a good fritter! I’m wondering if the semolina was necessary since ground turkey is often a bit wetter than ground beef? Either way, good way to adjust. I’d love to try these!
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Goat Cheese and Green Chile QuesadillasMy Profile

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